The Trump administration is considering further cuts to the annual cap on refugees as it diverts caseworkers to handle asylum claims from Central American families at the southern US border, a senior official said on Friday.
Since taking office, President Donald Trump, who campaigned on restricting immigration, has slashed the number of refugees allowed into the United States - decisions decried by human rights advocates and national security experts.
Last year, the administration capped the program at 30,000 refugees, down from 45,000 people in 2018, which itself was the lowest ceiling since 1980. In his last year of office, former President Barack Obama had set the cap at 110,000 refugees.
No decisions have yet been made by Trump, the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Top administration officials have not yet met to discuss the cap, which is set each year by the end of September.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has already shifted refugee caseworkers to instead work on asylum cases, the official said - and will continue to shift more - reducing the number of refugee files that can be handled no matter where the cap is set.
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