On September 27, 2017, the White House formally announced to congressional leaders that it plans to lower the cap on the number of refugees accepted into the United States to 45,000 in the next fiscal year.
The proposed limit is the tightest limit on refugee admissions since caps were instituted in 1980. When President James Carter signed the United States Refugee Act into law in March of 1980, more than 200,000 refugees were resettled in the country annually.
The annual limit on refugee admissions peaked again in the 1990s in response to the Balkan wars, but since 2000 it has remained steadily in the range of 70,000 to 80,000. In 2016, the United States accepted 84,995 refugees into the country. The previous low was set by President Ronald Reagan, when he capped admissions at 67,000 in 1986.
Many refugee resettlement agencies have expressed disappointment in President Trump’s proposed cap, which they believe to be remarkably low. Such agencies had recommended adopting a limit of 75,000 or higher to keep pace with growing global humanitarian needs.
This announcement by the White House comes in the wake of a Presidential Proclamation establishing new travel restrictions for citizens of certain specified nationalities, which was announced on September 24, 2017.
If you believe that any of these policies may affect you or your business, we urge you to contact our office at (856) 222-0130 for more information.