The Trump administration in the US has decided to allow only 45,000 refugees from next year.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is likely to brief the Congress soon on the decision.
The cut in the number of refugees is drastic as it is half of the cap in 2016.
The regional breakdown will be: Africa, 19,000; East Asia, 5,000; Europe and Central Asia, 2,000; Latin America and the Caribbean, 1,500; Near East South Asia, 17,000.
“The security and safety of the American people is our chief concern,” a government official explained.
Since 1975, the United States has welcomed more than 3 million refugees from all over the world.
“While maintaining the United States leadership role in humanitarian protection, an integral part of this mission is to ensure that refugee resettlement opportunities only go to those who are eligible for such protection and who are not known to present a risk to the safety and security of our country,” the official added.
The official noted that the US also remains the world’s leading donor of humanitarian assistance, providing over USD 7 billion in humanitarian assistance around the world.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are 22.5 million refugees and 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Such a move is inhumane, said Senator Tom carper.
“The founding fathers of the United States of America a country of immigrants fought to create a democracy that would be an example of hope and freedom for the world. President Trump’s move to drastically cut back the number of refugees we’ll admit into our country flies in the face of those principles,” he said.
At a time when the world is facing the worst refugee crisis in history, it is unconscionable that the Trump Administration is setting the lowest refugee ceiling in history, said Senator Dick Durbin.
The Trump Administration’s decision today to cut refugee admissions to an historic low of 45,000 is an affront to the United States’ legacy as a protector of oppressed people, said Congressmen John Conyers and Zoe Lofgren in a joint statement.
“These drastic measures are completely unnecessary, because according to national security experts, our refugee program’s current vetting process is already extremely effective in identifying and mitigating threats to our national security,” said Gadier Abbas from CAIR.
(With inputs from agencies)