The Trump administration is setting up to resume refugee admissions to the United States after a “travel ban” was put in place many months ago.
New rules will be set with better vetting processes, according to administration officials, with a new ceiling of 45,000 for the 2018 year setting the stage, beginning October 1st. This is the lowest ceiling for refugee admissions since the program began in 1975.
Last year along we admitted 84,994 refugees with around 1/3rd of them being from Syria and Iraq.
A spokesperson for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said in September that the “growing” domestic asylum backlog is expected to reach 300,000 cases by the year’s end. Asylum seekers come to the U.S. and file for asylum from persecution overseas, as opposed to refugees also fleeing persecution who undergo an extensive screening process abroad and are then resettled in the U.S.
U.S. officials have defended the lower refugee admissions cap by citing that backlog, the reassignment of refugee officers and what they say will be tougher vetting procedures that mean applications will take more time to process.
The White House plans to announce the resumption of admissions and at least some of the new rules on Tuesday, officials said. Refugee admissions had generally been halted in June, with some exceptions.
Under the new rules, the administration will collect more biographical data, such as names of family members and places of employment, officials said. The administration will also do more to mine social media posts to see, for instance, if refugees’ public pronouncements are consistent with the stories they offer in their applications, the officials said. ….
Under the new order being issued, refugee admissions will resume for all countries. However, one person familiar with the planning said that people from 11 targeted countries will be subject to additional vetting that will slow down the process for them.