Sept. 27 (UPI) — President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to lower the U.S. refugee cap to its lowest mark since at least 1980.
The State Department and Department of Homeland Security provided the report detailing the cap, set at 45,000 people, to members of Congress. It would kick in at the start of the federal fiscal year, Oct. 1, and last until Sept. 30, 2018.
Beyond the 45,000 cutoff, The Washington Post reported the policy will include regional breakdowns: 19,000 refugees from Africa; 5,000 from East Asia; 2,000 from Europe and Central Asia; 1,500 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 17,500 from Near East and South Asia.
The Wall Street Journal reported the State Department wanted a 50,000-refugee cap before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson advocated for 45,000. Homeland Security recommended a cap of 40,000 people.
The State Department said in July that this year’s cap of 50,000 refugees, which Trump had lowered from former President Barack Obama’s recommended 110,000-person cap, had already been met.
The United States received 85,000 refugees in its last fiscal year and regularly admitted more than 110,000 refugees per year in the 1990s. Presidents have determined the annual refugee caps since 1980.
In his speech two weeks ago to the U.N. General Assembly, Trump said it’s more cost effective for the United States to spend money assisting 10 would-be refugees in their home regions than it is to admit one refugee.
“We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people, and which enables their eventual return to their home countries, to be part of the rebuilding process,” Trump said.