The Trump administration on Thursday announced it plans to admit the lowest number of refugees in U.S. history over the next 12 months, placing a cap of fewer than 20,000 spots for millions of people around the world displaced by war, ethnic conflict and other forms of persecution.
The U.S. is planning to resettle no more than 18,000 refugees in fiscal year 2020, which begins next month. The new ceiling represents the third consecutive and lowest ever reduction of spots for a refugee admissions program created in 1980 that has repeatedly come under fire from President Trump and immigration hardliners in his administration.
Since former President Obama outlined a 110,000 year cap for his final year in office, his successor reduced that number to 45,000 in fiscal year 2018 and then to 30,000, the current limit. The new ceiling — which will be officially instituted after the White House consults with Congress — represents the latest effort by the administration to overhaul the nation's legal immigration system.