U.S. hits 50000 refugee cap, but others still allowed in

U.S. hits 50000 refugee cap, but others still allowed in”

The cap on refugees was met July 12, a spokesman for the US State Department confirmed, CBS News reported.

Last month, the Supreme Court ordered the Trump administration to allow refugees to make their way into the country past the limit of 50,000 people, if those people can show a "bona fide relationship" to someone in the U.S., according to court documents.

Kay Bellor, vice president for Programs at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said the administration's "pause on resettlement and restrictions on the number of persons who can enter our country as refugees will have an immediate effect on our ability to conduct the lifesaving work of providing safety and protection", in a statement Wednesday. Originally, former President Barack Obama increased the number from 85,000 in 2016 to 110,000 this year.

Days after taking office, Trump signed an executive order that banned all refugee admissions for four months, banned Syrian refugee admissions indefinitely, instituted the 50,000 cap and called for a broad review of vetting procedures. The court ruling says people with a "bona fide relationship" in the United States are still allowed in.

In a statement Wednesday, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) - one of nine approved United States refugee resettlement agencies - criticized the administration for its "historically and arbitrarily low cap".

The White House has defined a "bona fide relationship" to mean those with close family members only: Parents, siblings, children, sons- and daughters-in-law, spouses, and engaged partners, according to The Washington Post.

President Donald Trump's administration has surpassed the limit of 50,000 refugees allowed into the USA for this fiscal year.

The statistics mark a shift away from the previous White House administration.

Since Trump took office in January through June 30, almost 9,600 refugees who are affiliated with the Christian faith have been resettled in the USA, accounting for roughly 50 percent of all refugee resettlements, according to research by Pew.

In February, Trump's first full month in the Oval Office, Muslims accounted for 50 percent of the total refugees who entered the USA, while Christians made up 41 percent of the arrivals.

In recent months, under Trump, the origin of refugees coming to the USA has changed, with Iran being the only Muslim-majority nation in the top six countries where refugees are mostly arriving from.

But the trend had changed by June, when Christians made up 57 percent of the refugees entering the country while Muslims only accounted for 31 percent.

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