Trump’s administration wishes to lower the cap on refugees entering the United States to just 45,000 a year, the lowest level it has been for decades, according to two administration officials speaking to NBC News.
The cap is pending presidential approval and may yet be changed. The officials who spoke to the press credited advisor Stephen Miller with bringing down the number, which the State Department sought to set at 50,000.
Former President Barak Obama wanted the cap to be at 110,000 refugees for the fiscal year 2018.
Refugees come to the United States from all over the world, but the debate about how many to accept has grown more fervent with the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. Europe has been struggling under the weight of refugees with more than one million refugees entered the continent in 2015 alone. There have been calls for the U.S. to accept more refugees on humanitarian, while others are wary of how to keep those with terrorist sympathies out of the country.
The U.S. resettled 18,007 Syrian refugees from October 2011 to December 2016.