USA to sharply cut cap on refugees to 30,000 for 2019

18 Septembre, 2018, 13:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • GUILLERMO ARIAS  AFP

But the administration is also more quietly ratcheting down the number of refugees from bad places with bad problems, who are allowed to enter the US, despite the tens of millions of displaced people who need help.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about refugees as he makes a statement to the media, September 17, 2018, at the State Department in Washington.

Refugee resettlement does not include the number of people reaching America and applying for asylum.

Pompeo said they would join the over 800,000 asylum seekers already inside the United States and who are awaiting adjudication of their claims.

"The improved refugee policy of this administration serves the national interest of the United States, and expands our ability to help those in need all around the world", according to a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Most applicants to the United States refugee program spend at least three years being interviewed, undergoing biometric checks and medical exams, and filling out paperwork. Today's announcement of the Administration's intention means it has further reduced its promise to protect these vulnerable populations, backpedalling on promises to religious minorities, a commitment to leave no one behind who assisted US troops, and on strategic goals in some of the most volatile regions in the world. "This would be wrong".

When Trump took office, the refugee cap stood at 110,000. "We must continue to responsibly vet applicants to prevent the entry of those who might do harm to our country".

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Amnesty International accused the Trump administration of "abandoning" refugees with the lower cap.

"It continues this administration's rapid flight from the proud USA tradition of providing resettlement to those fleeing persecution around the world", Schwartz said in a statement.

"We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the new refugee ceiling as well as processing more than 280,000 asylum seekers", Pompeo said in an announcement at the State Department, calling the United States "the most generous nation in the world when it comes to protection-based immigration".

Pompeo said the U.S.is "maintaining our enduring humanitarian commitments by working to assist refugees and other displaced people as close to their home countries as possible, thereby increasing the number of displaced people who have received aid and protection".

Betsy Fisher, policy director at the International Refugee Assistance Project, said the Trump administration is claiming, falsely, that the pullback is over security.

Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the decision "cruel and short sighted".

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