Trump’s Budget Request Supports 50,000 Refugees


Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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The White House’s proposed budget for 2018 designates billions of dollars for refugee assistance and supports the resettlement of 50,000 new refugees.

The budget, “A New Foundation For American Greatness,” was unveiled Monday and includes significant spending cuts to entitlements. Congressional Republicans applauded it as a step in the right direction.

However, it presents issues for the hardline immigration stance the president campaigned on. The budget provides a fraction of the estimated funds needed to build a wall on the Mexican border and includes billions of dollars for refugee programs.

The budget proposal calls for $2.7 billion to be spent on the State Department’s Migration and Refugee Assistance program, which goes towards assistance overseas and admissions in the U.S. This is down from $3.3 billion in fiscal year 2017. The proposed budget would give $410 million towards refugee admissions in the U.S.

The Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum, refugee, and international operations budget would also get a $14 million increase from the previous budget.

Health and Human Services runs the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The 2018 budget proposal for the agency allots $320 million that will go towards cash and medical assistance for 50,000 refugees. Obama resettled 85,000 refugees in his final fiscal year in office.

The proposed 50,000 refugees in 2018 would be the least in ten years. However, Obama resettled just six thousand more in 2011 and eight thousand more in 2012.

President Trump signed executive orders after getting into office to temporarily halt refugee admissions, but both have been blocked by federal courts. He slammed refugee resettlement while on the campaign trail, and likened the threat of terrorism from Syrian refugees to a “great Trojan horse.”

Since getting into office, Trump has resettled 15,140 refugees. Former President Obama admitted 23,191 refugees during the same time period last year.