U.S. Refugee Traffic Slows in 2018

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By Sandra Ukele

The United States President Donald Trump says his administration will admit 45,000 refugees only in 2018 fiscal year.

Trump mentions this in a memorandum to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and made available by the White House on Friday.

The benchmark is the lowest in decades and President Trump proposes this in a report to Congress on Wednesday. Refugee advocates admit the benchmark ignores growing humanitarian crises around the world that are causing people to flee their native countries in greater numbers representing a departure from U.S. global leadership.

The Trump administration defends its position claiming the lower cap is necessary to enable officials address a growing backlog of people applying for asylum in the U.S. This will also aid officials do a better vetting of refugees, the memorandum claims.

In its report to Congress which is reviewed by Reuters, the administration says it may assess refugees on their "likelihood of successful assimilation and contribution to the U.S.

"The particular concern is that assessments will be made, not on the basis of individual cases, but might be biased against certain religion or nationalitynationality ," says Joseph Cassidy, a former State Department official.

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