The Trump administration has already slashed the admittance of refugees, admitting only 20,000 so far this fiscal year. That number is significantly fewer than the current cap of 45,000.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. will take only 30,000 refugees over the next fiscal year — the fewest since the 1980 Refugee Act.
The cap on refugees decreased from the 45,000 cap set for the current fiscal year and is the third such cutback on the yearly refugee cap President Donald Trump has implemented in a row. Pompeo said the lowered cap was necessary to allow the U.S. to deal with the backlog of 800,000 currently pending asylum seekers.
“In consideration of both U.S. national security interest and the urgent need to restore integrity to our overwhelmed asylum system, the United States will focus on addressing the humanitarian protection cases of those already in the country,” Pompeo said, according to The Washington Post.
International law requires countries to admit asylum seekers, but allows for judges to reject the cases of asylum seekers once they have been admitted into the country and deport them. Refugees, on the other hand, remain outside of the country while their cases are processed.