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US plans to slash refugee intake to 18,000


ANI Asia
The US on Wednesday announced that it plans to allow only 18,000 refugees to be resettled in the United States in the 2020 fiscal year, the lowest number since Washington began its refugee program in 1980.
According to a senior administration official, US President Donald Trump administration will reserve 4,000 refugee slots for Iraqis who worked with the United States military, 1,500 for people from Central America and 5,000 for people persecuted for their religion, reports The New York Times.
The additional 7,500 slots are for those who are seeking family unification and have been cleared for resettlement, authorities added.
Administration officials also said the change was to accommodate that huge increase in people seeking asylum.
"President Trump is prioritising the safety and security of the American people by making sure we do not admit more people than we can vet," the administration said.
The state department also acknowledged that the screening and vetting procedures have resulted in fewer refugee admissions in 2018.
As per official data, despite the 45,000 cap, only 22,491 refugees were admitted to the US last year. In his final year in office, former President Barack Obama had set the cap at 110,000 refugees.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 10:38 AM IST

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