Trump approves plan to cap refugees at 18,000 in 2020

National

FILE – In this June 20, 2017 file photo, Refugees and community activists gather in front of the White House in Washington. The Trump administration wants to cap the number of refugees admitted into the United States to the lowest number since the resettlement program was created in 1980. A State Department proposal released Thursday would put a cap on the number of refugees at 18,000 for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed off on a plan that continues a dramatic drop in the number of refugees taken in by the U.S. to no more than 18,000 in fiscal year 2020.

When the State Department first announced the plan in September religious and humanitarian groups sharply criticized the administration.

In the last full year of the Obama administration, the refugee ceiling was 85,000. This year, the Trump administration set the limit at 30,000. That number was the lowest since the modern resettlement program’s creation in 1980.

In a statement issued Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that refugee resettlement “is only one aspect of U.S. humanitarian-based immigration efforts.” He cited diplomatic efforts to find solutions to crises as well as humanitarian aid.

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