U.S. on pace to fall short of record-low refugee cap

The Trump administration is projected to fall short of its record-low cap on refugee arrivals this year, according to State Department data and projections by World Relief, a humanitarian organization that works to resettle and care for refugees.

Data: U.S. State Department's Refugee Processing Center, 2019 projection by World Relief; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: Since Trump took office, the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. has fallen significantly — as has the share of refugees admitted who are non-Christian. Jenny Yang, senior vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief, told Axios that the low numbers are due to "cumbersome bureaucracy and delays added upon a process that has worked effectively over the past few years."

By the numbers: At 24,369, there have been slightly more refugees resettled in the U.S. this fiscal year compared to this point last year. But in relation to 2016, the overall number of admitted refugees has fallen by 71%, while the number of Muslim arrivals has fallen by 90%.

  • "The low numbers of religious minorities being resettled contradicts the administration's policies and stated goals to actually help persecuted religious minorities around the world," Yang said.

The big picture: The U.S. resettles more refugees than any other wealthy nation, but Canada and Australia now let in more refugees per capita, Yang said. The U.S. also welcomes some humanitarian immigrants through its asylum process — something the Trump administration has targeted through the Justice Department and executive actions.

Go deeper: Read Axios' deep dive on the refugee crisis