President Donald Trump has cut in half the number of refugees that were allowed into America during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Moreover, Trump’s boosted the number of Christian refugees to the point where they outnumber the number of Muslims.
The Washington Times has the story:
President Trump, in just eight months in office, has succeeded in upending U.S. refugee policy, cutting by more than half the 110,000-refugee target that the Obama administration had bequeathed him and dramatically shifting the demographics of who is accepted.
Gone is President Obama’s overwhelming focus on Muslims, and particularly on Syrians fleeing a civil war that his administration facilitated. Under Mr. Trump, the rate of Syrian refugees has been cut by more than 80 percent, and Christians have overtaken Muslims in total refugees resettled.
“It’s impossible to escape the clear message that there’s a new sheriff in town,” said Matthew O’Brien, research director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for stricter refugee controls.
The Trump changes have reverberated around the globe, with the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees drastically cutting the number of refugee candidates it submits to the U.S.
After recommending nearly 35,000 refugee candidates last year, the UNHCR submitted just 3,591 applications from January to July.
Refugee advocates say the U.S. is relinquishing its global leadership and moral standing and have challenged parts of the administration’s policy in the courts, pushing the country to move back toward the goals set by Mr. Obama.
The previous president called for up to 110,000 refugees to be admitted to the U.S. in 2017 and indicated that he wanted Syrians to be a large part of that, with the country on pace for more than 15,000 resettlements this year.
But Mr. Trump, as part of his first “extreme vetting” travel ban executive order, changed all that. He called for cutting the refugee cap from 110,000 to 50,000 and placed a four-month pause on the refugee program and a more lasting ban on Syrians.
Resistance by the courts, immigrant rights activists and Democrats on Capitol Hill dented those plans, but at the end of the fiscal year, it’s clear that the president mostly got his way.
As of Tuesday afternoon, with four days left in the fiscal year, the government had admitted slightly more than 53,000 refugees — less than half of Mr. Obama’s goal but slightly more than Mr. Trump wanted.
Perhaps the bigger impact was within the demographic breakdown, where Muslims dropped from nearly half of refugees under Mr. Obama to slightly more than a third. Christians, meanwhile, went from 43 percent to 53 percent under Mr. Trump.
Syrians, who represented a stunning 15 percent of all refugees under Mr. Obama, dropped to just 8 percent under Mr. Trump.
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