12:32 GMT03 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration is proposing resettling 18,000 refugees in the United States in fiscal year (FY) 2020, the US Department of State said in a press release.

    "The United States anticipates receiving more than 368,000 new refugees and asylum claims in FY 2020," the release said Thursday. "Of them, 18,000 would be refugees we propose to resettle under the new refugee ceiling".

    A senior US administration official said during a conference call on Thursday the total number of refugees being resettled includes 5,000 fleeing religious persecution, 4,000 Iraqis who have helped the United States, and 1,500 people from the Northern Triangle countries which includes El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

    The Trump administration will need to consult with Congress before they are able to resettle these refugees in their proposed jurisdictions in the United States, the official said.

    The 18,000 refugee ceiling for FY 2020 is the lowest since the establishment of the resettlement program in 1980.

    In late March, US President Donald Trump ordered the State Department to cut all direct financial assistance to the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    These Northern Triangle countries are the main source of migrants to the United States and Washington has for years provided assistance to local authorities in order to help stabilize the socio-economic environment there.

    Caravans of migrants from Central American countries seeking asylum began moving toward the United States through Mexico last fall.

    Trump has called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February to secure funds for constructing a border wall to stem the tide of illegal immigration in the United States.

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    Tags:
    migration, Department of State, Resettling, Trump administration, refugees, United States
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