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Refugee Admissions Plummet Under Trump After Skyrocketing Under Obama

After three months in which the Obama administration greatly increased the number of refugees entering America, the Trump administration has halved those numbers.

A new Department of Homeland Security report said that in the final three months of the Obama administration – October through December 2016 – refugee admissions increased by 86 percent from the year prior.

President Donald Trump took office in January. For the January-March quarter, refugee admissions nosedived and were down 12 percent over the same period one year earlier.

The report said 13,000 refugees were admitted to the U.S. in the second quarter of the federal fiscal year which began in October. However, in the final full quarter of the Obama administration, 25,000 refugees were admitted.

Although Trump has tried to impose a ban on travel and immigration from several high terrorism nations, that ban has been blocked and is heading for a Supreme Court showdown.

Approximately two-thirds of refugees admitted to the U.S. in Trumps terms were from five countries: Syria and Somalia, both included in Trump’s proposed travel ban; Iraq, which was included in the first version of the ban; the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burma.

One expert said the numbers show Trump has been effective even without the travel ban in place.

“Even if ‘extreme vetting’ is on hold, good vetting takes time, and the Trump administration’s plans to follow the law are eliminating the irresponsible rush to judgment that took place under the Obama administration,” said Matthew J. O’Brien, research director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen accounted for about half of all refugees admitted over Obama’s final months. During the Trump administration, they have represented only about a quarter of the refugees.

“Many of the people from the Iraq/Syria region under the Obama administration should never have been admitted to the United States,” O’Brien said.

“It appears that the Trump administration is making attempts to engage in serious (as opposed to superficial) vetting efforts and is approving refugee applications only for individuals who appear to be genuine refugees,” O’Brien said.

The current federal fiscal year, which began under Obama, has a budgeted limit of 75,000 refugee admissions, less than the 110,000 Obama proposed but more then the 50,000 limit Trump sought.

The State Department said the U.S. is now resettling 900 refugee arrivals a week.