WORLD

Trump admin plans to limit refugee admissions to 18,000

A young girl holds her mother's leg at the office of the immigrants rights group CASA in Langley Park, Maryland on Sept. 17, 2019. (AFP Photo)

The Trump administration plans to drastically lower the ceiling of a decades-old refugee resettlement program to 18,000 people from its current level of 30,000, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is planning to limit refugee admissions to 18,000 in fiscal year 2020, down from 30,000 in the 2019 fiscal year.

Refugee admissions stood at 110,000 when Trump assumed the presidency.

The Departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services submitted Trump's annual report to Congress.

"The official Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions Numbers for FY 2020 will be issued following consultation with Congress," said the State Department.

The U.S. anticipates receiving more than 368,000 new refugee and asylum claims in the fiscal year.

"Of them, 18,000 would be refugees we propose to resettle under the new refugee ceiling; we also anticipate processing more than 350,000 individuals in new asylum cases," said the department.

"The current burdens on the U.S. immigration system must be alleviated before it is again possible to resettle large number of refugees," it added.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the proposal will allow his department to focus on addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border.

It will also reduce "reducing a staggering asylum backlog that unfairly delays relief for those with meritorious claims," said McAleenan.

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