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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to only admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees this fiscal year, the State Department said in a release late Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: This is yet another record-low refugee cap. Before leaving office, President Obama set the refugee limit at 110,000 for fiscal year 2017 — a number Trump has continued to slash throughout his presidency.

  • The proposed cut "accounts for the massive backlog in asylum cases — now more than 1.1 million individuals — by prioritizing those who are already in the country seeking humanitarian protection," according to the release. 
  • "It also accounts for the arrival of refugees whose resettlement in the United States was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
  • Meanwhile, 79.5 million people worldwide were living forcibly displaced from their homes in 2019 — roughly 1% of the world's population, according to the United Nations.

Between the lines: The State Department says it expects 300,000 new refugees and asylum claims in FY 2021. Refugee resettlement and asylum are two separate programs for humanitarian immigrants hoping to immigrate to the U.S.

Go deeper

Dec 20, 2020 - World

Biden and Mexico's López Obrador discuss "new approach" to migration issues

Combination images of President-elect Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images/Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador discussed in a phone call Saturday working together on a "new approach" to migration that "offers alternatives to undertaking the dangerous journey" to the U.S.

Why it matters: The statement from Biden's transition team on the call details represents a key part of the president-elect's plans to overhaul President Trump's aggressive border policy.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.