During the presidential campaign, immigration was a defining issue for candidate Donald Trump. With bold pledges about rejecting refugees and building a big wall on the Mexican border, he was due to tackle immigration unlike any other President in recent history. As President, that has changed as Trump has struggled to match policy with his campaign promises in the midst of constant criticism.
He has stood firm on his travel bans though, with battles raging all throughout the court system. It was something many opponents labeled as a Muslim ban, though he stood firm on the claim that it wasn’t.
Now President Trump appears set to tackle immigration once again, slashing numbers of refugees allowed to settle in the United States.
The maximum capacity will be 45,000 refugees in the coming year. This comes with regional caps of 19,000 for Africa, 17,500 for the Near East and South Asia, 5,000 for East Asia, 2,000 for Europe and Central Asia, and 1,500 for Latin America and the Caribbean.
These numbers are less than half of what former President Barack Obama had set for allowable refugees coming into the United States. The new refugee cuts by the Trump administration also excludes the “unallocated reserve,” which in the past had allowed additional refugees to enter because of unforeseen issues abroad.
Though it is not clear how supporters of the refugee resettlement program will react, it will more than likely be met with legal challenges just as was the case with the previous bans.
This stays in line with President Trump’s concern that terrorist groups are infiltrating groups of unvetted refugees abroad, often pointing to the chaos and violence that rages across Europe. While critics often state that President Trump is racist and opposed to refugee resettlement due to his callousness, Trump’s officially stated position is due to the infiltration concern.