Refugee Admissions Are Drastically Different Under Trump...Here's How

Posted: Jan 03, 2018 11:40 AM

The Trump administration has taken a drastically different turn from the Obama administration when it comes to the refugees that have been admitted to the United States during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, which began October 1, 2017 and ended December 31, 2017.

The difference is related to the faiths of the new refugees. Sixty percent have been Christians while only 13 percent have been Muslim. 

This follows a similar pattern during the president’s first 11 months in office, as reported by the Center for Immigration Studies: 

Refugees admitted in the first 11 months of the Trump administration were mostly Christian (53.2 percent), while Muslims accounted for 32 percent and Buddhists and Hindus accounted for 9.2 percent. For the same period in 2016 under Obama, the refugees admitted were plurality Muslim (45 percent), while Christians accounted for 44.2 percent and Buddhists and Hindus accounted for 5.4 percent. (CIS)

The countries of origin of these refugees also differed between the two presidents. 

Under Trump, the top five countries refugees came from include: Congo, Burma, Bhutan, Ukraine, and Somalia; whereas under Obama, they were: Congo, Syria, Burma, Iraq, and Somalia. This is likely related to the president’s temporary travel ban on several countries in the Middle East and Africa. From the seven nations on the list, only 298 refugees were admitted during the first quarter of FY 2018. These include 218 from Somalia, 77 from Iraq, 33 from Syria, 31 from Sudan, 29 from Iran, and none from Libya or Yemen. 

The admission ceilings have also been capped at much lower numbers under Trump. 

President Obama's FY 2016 refugee admission ceiling was 85,000. His 110,000 ceiling for FY 2017 was adjusted by President Trump to 50,000. The FY 2018 ceiling was set at 45,000 by President Trump (the lowest refugee ceiling since 1980).

These caps do not need to be met; they only represent a maximum ceiling.