WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is contemplating additional cuts to the annual cap on refugees because it diverts caseworkers to deal with asylum claims from Central American households on the southern U.S. border, a senior official stated on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Central American migrants stand in line earlier than coming into a short lived shelter, after illegally crossing the border between Mexico and the U.S., in Deming, New Mexico, U.S., Could 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
Since taking workplace, President Donald Trump, who campaigned on proscribing immigration, has slashed the variety of refugees allowed into america – choices decried by human rights advocates and nationwide safety specialists.
Final 12 months, the administration capped this system at 30,000 refugees, down from 45,000 individuals in 2018, which itself was the bottom ceiling since 1980. In his final 12 months of workplace, former President Barack Obama had set the cap at 110,000 refugees.
No choices have but been made by Trump, the official advised reporters, talking on situation of anonymity. Prime administration officers haven’t but met to debate the cap, which is ready annually by the tip of September.
However the official stated the administration was directing extra assets to handle the lots of of 1000’s of primarily Central American households and youngsters who’ve crossed the U.S. border with Mexico through the previous 12 months, many searching for refuge in america.
“Our focus has been on coping with the asylum inflow (on the U.S. border), and prioritizing these circumstances,” the official stated.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) has already shifted refugee caseworkers to as an alternative work on asylum circumstances, the official stated – and can proceed to shift extra – lowering the variety of refugee recordsdata that may be dealt with irrespective of the place the cap is ready. The official didn’t present particulars on what number of case officers had been reassigned.
The New York Instances reported on Friday that prime officers would think about choices at a gathering on Tuesday – which might embrace successfully ending this system, or severely slashing the cap and reserving the spots for a slim group of nations.
The official declined touch upon what choices could be thought-about and when that may happen.
The administration additionally has advocated that it’s cheaper to resettle refugees abroad somewhat than relocate individuals to america.
“It’s a greater use of taxpayer to resettle individuals nearer to dwelling,” the official stated.
Virtually 30,000 susceptible refugees abroad have already accomplished interviews for resettlement, stated the Worldwide Rescue Committee, a humanitarian support group.
“Pulling the rug out from below refugees and the resettlement program, as is reported, is unfair, inhumane, and strategically flawed for america,” stated Nazanin Ash, a vp with the group.
Reporting by Roberta Rampton; extra reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Modifying by Tom Brown