The administration of US President Donald Trump is considering further reducing the annual maximum of refugees accepted by the United States, a senior official said on Friday.
The official told reporters on Saturday that Trump has not yet made any decisions, and has yet to meet top administration officials to discuss the maximum set annually by the end of September.
Resettling people closer to their home countries is a better use of taxpayers’ money, the Trump administration says, considering that resettling refugees abroad is more cost-effective than moving people to the United States.
For its part, the newspaper “New York Times” in a report that senior officials will consider options during a meeting to be held next Tuesday may include the actual termination of the program or reduce the ceiling significantly.
Since taking office, Trump has reduced the number of refugees allowed into the United States in decisions criticized by human rights groups and national security experts.
Last year, the administration set the refugee program ceiling at 30,000 out of 45,000 in 2018, which in itself was the lowest since 1980.