The Trump administration has further reduced the number of refugees it will allow in the United States to 18,000 in the coming year.
The administration agreed to allow a maximum of 30,000 refugees into the U.S. during the 2019 federal fiscal year.
The Obama administration had set the limit at 85,000 in former President Barack Obama’s last year in office.
Trump’s new number was the lowest since 1980, according to the New York Post.
“America’s support for refugees and other displaced people extends well beyond our immigration system,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said the U.S. prefers to take proactive solutions to address the crises that cause refugee displacement in the first place.
He cited “diplomatic efforts around the world to find solutions to crises, like our support for the legitimate government in Venezuela against Maduro’s tyranny. Addressing the core problems that drive refugees away from their homes helps more people more rapidly than resettling them in the United States.”
The United States pumps billions into programs designed to help individuals displaced by wars, Pompeo said.
“[I]n Fiscal Year 2019 the United States contributed nearly $9.3 billion to supporting crisis response globally, the largest contribution of any country in the world,” he said.
“Helping displaced people as close to their homes as possible better facilitates their eventual safe and voluntary return. Their efforts to rebuild their communities help restore affected areas to stability, which is always in America’s interest.”
Pompeo said the refugee program is not the only way newcomers enter the U.S.
“Since 1980, America has welcomed almost 3.8 million refugees and asylees, and our country hosts hundreds of thousands of people under other humanitarian immigration categories,” he said.
Above all, Pompeo noted, the U.S. is already facing an immigration crisis due to the rise in illegal immigration at the southern border.
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