Despite the roadblocks with his travel bans, Trump has managed to decrease the flow of refugees into the country by almost half.
In Obama’s last three months, 25,000 refugees entered the country. In the early months of Trump’s presidency, only 13,000 were approved according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Under both administrations, the majority of refugees have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Myanmar.
The executive travel ban Trump issued in January may account for the significant dip because it barred those coming from Muslim-majority countries including Syria, Somalia, Iran, Libya Sudan and Yemen.
Barack Obama’s quota in 2016 may also explain the gap. The former president wanted to fulfill his target of admitting 110,000 refugees – a significantly small number compared to Germany, which accepts about a million each year – so significantly increased the number allowed in the country during his last three months.
Pew Research shows about 116,000 refugees were accepted in 2016 – the largest number in more than a decade.
Trump has already reduced the country’s quota to 50,000 refugees for 2017.
Under both administrations, refugees need to be referred by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or have a relative in the U.S. before they can apply.
Then the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services review all the information on the applications before they decide to accept them into the country. The entire process can take up to two years.
With the decrease in numbers, however, do you think our screening of refugees has become more thorough in order to weed out terrorists?