Luz Bertila Zazueta, 75, of Tijuana, right, hugs farewell to a Peruvian family whose numbers were called Sept. 26, 2019, to claim asylum in San Diego. Zazueta persuaded a neighbor to let the family live in his empty house free during a six-month wait.
The Trump administration is proposing to accept a maximum of 18,000 refugees in the coming year, in what would be the lowest refugee ceiling in the country’s history, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.
If the government follows through, 2020 will be the third year of significant cuts to refugee resettlement under President Donald Trump. For now, however, the latest figure remains a proposal.
The final decision, in the form of the so-called “presidential determination,” will be made in the coming weeks after the required consultations with Congress, a senior administration official told reporters in a phone briefing organized by the White House on Thursday.
In fiscal 2018, the first full year of the Trump administration, the ceiling was set at 45,000, and 22,491 refugees were admitted.
Before Trump’s election, the refugee ceiling average was 60,000 to 70,000 since the current version of the program began in 1980.
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