The White House has Decreased Refugee Admissions to a Record Low
The White House announced that the U.S. will only admit 45,000 refugees for Fiscal Year 2018. This will be the lowest refugee admissions ceiling ever set by the U.S. government. The limited refugee visas will be allocated with 19,000 for Africa; 17,500 for the Near East/South Asia; 5,000 for East Asia; and 2,000 for Europe and Central Asia, according to Immigration Impact. Unlike in previous years, there won’t be a “unallocated reserve” for unexpected refugee flows.
This new cap represents a 59 percent decrease in the ceiling previously set by the Obama administration. The U.S. has had a longstanding commitment to sustaining a robust refugee program. One of the main reasons being it strengthens relationships with countries and regions
where the United States has sought to build partnerships. For many Americans, there is a strong moral obligation to provide safe haven to the persecuted, stemming from the legacy of World War II and the Holocaust, when many Jews were turned away and returned to their deaths.
Accepting fewer refugees from countries in crisis is the equivalent to slamming the door on individuals whose lives hang in the balance. This is not how the United States has been represented in the past, and it undermines the efforts to tackle and collaborate on resolving complex humanitarian crises going forward.