US cuts refugees by 66% in '17, but still tops all nations

Sunday, July 8, 2018
Michael F. Haverluck (

Syrian refugees in GermanyEven though the United States resettled more refugees (33,000) in 2017 than any other country in the world, the Pew Research Center revealed that this number has not been as low since the years following the 9-11 terrorist attacks – and the number is about a third the amount taken in 2016 (97,000) under former President Barack Obama.

After analyzing new statistics published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Pew found that despite the U.S. traditionally taking the bulk the world’s refugees, the proportion of refugees America accepted last year hit an unprecedented low.

“The number of refugees resettled in the United States decreased more than in any other country in 2017,” Pew reported. “This represents the first time since the adoption of the 1980 U.S. Refugee Act that the U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world."

U.S. no longer the world’s refugee mecca?

As the world’s number one refugee depository by taking in three-fourths of the world’s refugees over the past few decades, the U.S. could now be on route to let other countries take the lead.

“Since 1980, the U.S. has taken in 3 million of the more than 4 million refugees resettled worldwide – historically leading the world in refugee resettlement,” noted from the UN’s statistics.

America’s drop in the number of refugees settled could mark the end of the trend of the U.S. having to bear the brunt of the world’s refugee crisis.

“Non-U.S. countries resettled more than twice as many refugees as the U.S. in 2017 (69,000), even though refugee resettlement in these nations was down from 92,000 in 2016,” Pew’s Phillip Connor and Jens Manuel Krogstad divulged. “Previously, the closest the rest of the world had come to surpassing the U.S. on this measure was 2003, when the U.S. resettled about 28,000 refugees and the rest of the world resettled about 27,000.”

Now, other nations are quickly catching up to the U.S.’s refugee intake (33,000).

“Following the U.S. were Canada (27,000), Australia (15,000) and the United Kingdom (6,000),” Pew revealed from the UN’s figures. “Sweden, Germany, Norway and France each resettled about 3,000 refugees.”

In fact, when it comes to the proportion of refugees found in the total population, a number of other countries beat out the U.S. last year.

“Per capita, Canada led the world by resettling 725 refugees per 1 million residents, followed by Australia (618) and Norway (528),” Connor and Krogstad explained. “The U.S. resettled 102 refugees per 1 million U.S. residents.”

The U.S. was not the only country last year that accepted less refugees than the year before.

“Overall, the world resettled 103,000 refugees in 2017 – down from 189,000 in 2016,” Pew informed. “The broad-based decline included decreases in other leading countries in refugee resettlement, such as Canada and Australia, though the drops in these countries were more modest than those in the U.S.”

Refugees are not to be confused with illegal aliens or other groups of immigrants.

“Refugee resettlement refers to a very specific group of migrants … namely those who enter their destination country after obtaining legal permission to do so – having applied for refugee status while in another country,” Breitbart News noted. “It does not include other sorts of migrants or asylum seekers.”

It was also stressed that even though the number of refugees is escalating worldwide, they only represent a fraction of the world’s overall displaced population.

“According to UNHCR, the global refugee population reached a record 19.9 million in 2017 – growing by 2.75 million over the previous year,” Breitbart’s Thomas D. Williams recounted. “Only about a third [30 percent] of the 68.5 million displaced persons in the world (2017) are refugees, with the majority being internally displaced people (IDPs) who have been displaced within their home country. The number of IDPs reached about 40 million in 2017.”

Accepting a risk to national security

The majority of refugees come from regions in the world known for being hotbeds for Islamic terrorism.

“More than half (56 percent) of refugees resettled worldwide were citizens of countries in the Middle East-North Africa region – mostly from Syria,” Pew pointed out, “Another 23 percent were from sub-Saharan African countries, while 15 percent came from Asian countries.”

In a huge break from the lax immigration policy implemented under the Obama administration, President Donald Trump has seriously curbed America’s refugee intake with his travel bans – while tighter border security and increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids have worked to decrease the number of illegal immigrants coming into the country.

“U.S. refugee resettlement is on pace to remain at historically low levels in 2018,” Connor and Krogstad informed. “The Trump administration lowered the refugee ceiling for fiscal 2018 to 45,000 refugees – the lowest cap since the Refugee Act was adopted by Congress.”

Under Trump, the U.S.’s refugee intake is expected to continue to decrease with his augmented war on terror that includes curbing refugees coming from nations know for harboring Islamic terrorism.

“The U.S. has admitted more than 16,000 refugees with about three months remaining in the current fiscal year, according to U.S. State Department data,” the Pew report stated. “The number of Muslim refugees admitted to the U.S. has dropped more than other religious groups.”

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