Trump administration drastically cuts number of refugees it will let into the U.S.

Mike Pompeo.
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the Trump administration is capping refugee admissions at 30,000 in 2019.

This is a 33 percent drop from 2018's cap of 45,000, itself a record-low number. Pompeo said the U.S. will "focus on the humanitarian protection cases of those already in the country," adding that the "ultimate goal is the best possible care and safety of these people in need, and our approach is designed to achieve this noble objective."

The refugee resettlement program began in 1980, and 30,000 is a far cry from the Obama administration's cap of 110,000 refugees during the 2017 fiscal year. There is no limit on the number of asylum seekers that can enter the country; those applications are handled by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, while the State Department is in charge of refugee admissions.

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