2017 Marked Massive Drop in U.S. Resettlement of Refugees | Sojourners

2017 Marked Massive Drop in U.S. Resettlement of Refugees

The U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world in 2017, marking the first time since the adoption of the 1980 U.S. Refugee Act, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Since 1980, the U.S. has taken in 3 million of the more than 4 million refugees resettled worldwide, historically leading the world in refugee resettlement. But in 2017, only 33,000 refugees resettled in the U.S., the country’s lowest total since the years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a sharp decline from 2016, when it resettled about 97,000.

Other countries outside of the U.S. resettled 69,000 refugees –  more than double the refugee resettlements as the U.S. in 2017, even though refugee resettlement in these nations had decreased from 92,000 in 2016.

The Pew Research Center reports:

U.S. refugee resettlement is on pace to remain at historically low levels in 2018. The Trump administration lowered the refugee ceiling for fiscal 2018 to 45,000 refugees – the lowest cap since the Refugee Act was adopted by Congress. The U.S. has admitted more than 16,000 refugees with about three months remaining in the current fiscal year, according to U.S. State Department data. The number of Muslim refugees admitted to the U.S. has dropped more than other religious groups.

Overall, the world resettled 103,000 refugees in 2017, a drop from 189,000 in 2016.

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