The Trump administration is on track to resettle far fewer refugees than their historically low ceiling allows, according to a report from World Relief.
Last September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that no more than 30,000 refugees will be resettled to the U.S. in fiscal year 2019, which is Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019.
Pompeo blamed a “defective” vetting process and a backlog of approximately 800,000 refugees for the decision to reduce the resettlement cap.
The 30,000-refugee cap is the lowest ceiling number set by any administration since the passing of the Refugee Act in 1980 and was also 15,000 below the cap for fiscal year 2018.
World Relief released a report on Tuesday which noted that, halfway through the fiscal year, the administration is on track to resettle about 5,600 fewer refugees than the ceiling would allow.
The projected total of approximately 24,300 refugees is only about one-third the average number of refugees welcomed into the United States since 1980, which is approximately 75,000.
This decline in refugee resettlement is hurting a number of persecuted religious minorities, including Christians fleeing intolerant Muslim-majority nations like Iran, Pakistan, and Syria.
The humanitarian group predicted severe declines of both Christian and Muslim refugees fleeing both countries where they are the majority religion and where they are the minority religion.
World Relief projected a 48 percent decline in Christian refugees arriving from all countries and a 90 percent decline in Muslim refugees arriving from all countries, both compared to FY 2016.
World Relief President Scott Arbeiter said in a statement emailed to supporters that the projected total for the current fiscal year “does not reflect the capacity or willingness of Americans to receive and resettle refugees.”
“We are gravely concerned that the U.S. has abdicated its role in exemplifying the moral leadership needed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable displaced around the world,” stated Arbeiter.
“Furthermore, the dramatic decrease in the numbers of persecuted Christian and other religious minority refugees resettled in the U.S. to escape religious persecution contradicts the administration’s previously stated willingness to help these populations.”
News of the decreased numbers of resettled refugees comes as the Democrat-led House of Representatives is considering legal action against President Donald Trump over his declaring a national emergency to construct a wall on the Southern border.
The House opted to sue President Trump for his national emergency, which was issued in February and allowed him to move $3.6 billion from a budget for military construction to building the border wall.
“The president's action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,” stated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as reported by the Washington Examiner on Thursday.