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How Many Refugees Will Trump Let In?

16:45, Wednesday, 27 September, 2017
How Many Refugees Will Trump Let In?

A bipartisan group of 34 U.S. senators sent a letter to President Trump on Tuesday urging him to set a “robust” refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018, which begins October 1.
     The letter, which was signed by, among others, Senators Jeanne Shaheen, the New Hampshire Democrat; John McCain, the Arizona Republican; and Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican, is an attempt to urge the Trump administration to rethink the figure of 50,000 refugees he requested in a draft budget submitted to Congress. The senators called that figure, which was less than half of the cap President Obama set for his last year in office, “insufficient when compared to the millions of people who have been forced to flee their countries.”
     Trump is expected this week to announce the refugee cap for the next fiscal year, and one source familiar with the discussions told me the number could be 45,000, a figure also reported by The Wall Street Journal citing its own sources. That number is not only lower than the 50,000 the nine nonprofit groups that help resettle refugees in the U.S. had expected based on the president’s budget proposal, it’s far lower than the 75,000 refugees they had hoped to convince Trump to admit in the coming year. The number would be the lowest refugee cap announced since President Reagan signed the Refugee Act in 1980. Since then, U.S. presidents have, on average, set a ceiling of 95,000 refugees per fiscal year. The refugee groups I spoke to said they had seen numbers under discussion within the administration ranging from 40,000 to 45,000. But no official announcement has come yet, and the final figure could still be lower or higher.

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