Trump administration officials discuss slashing refugee cap

Trump administration officials will meet next week to discuss whether to further restrict the number of refugees accepted into the U.S each year, according to a senior administration official.

Some administration officials believe that the cap should be reduced because of the number of asylum seekers at the U.S-Mexico border and other protections afforded to migrants who live in war-torn countries or those devastated by natural disasters.

Some have argued for the number to be 15,000 or fewer, according to two other administration officials.

The officials were not allowed to speak publicly and spoke to the 'Associated Press' on condition of anonymity.

Nothing has been decided. Senior leaders will meet in the Situation Room on Tuesday to discuss the cap, which is set by the president and must be decided before the new fiscal year begins October 1.

Right now, the cap is set at 30,000, and 28,501 refugees were accepted between Oct 1, 2018, and Sept 6. Last budget year the cap was 45,000 and 22,491 were admitted. That's one-quarter of the number allowed to enter two years ago and the lowest since Congress passed a law in 1980 creating the modern resettlement system.

Behind the reductions were more stringent security protocols for citizens of 11 countries designated by the administration as presenting the greatest potential threat.

The State Department acknowledged that the screening and vetting procedures have resulted in fewer refugee admissions in 2018.

(with news agency inputs)