Trump Watch! Is rumored refugee cap reduction to 50,000 that significant?

One more post on numbers and the rumored executive order on refugees, and then I am moving on to a lot of other refugee news that has gone unreported for days as we watch and wait for President Trump’s delayed order on the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.

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The Bush Administration was favorable toward refugees, and yet he had 4 years where the numbers admitted were under 50,000. Bush’s average was around 58,750.  So, if Trump comes in at 50,000, it isn’t a shockingly unprecedented reduction.

The rumor (and who leaked the draft executive order anyway?) is that Donald Trump will cap the refugee admissions for FY2017 at 50,000.  Obama had proposed 110,000 (and the refugee resettlement contractors have been busy finding new sites for their placement).
As of today we are at 32,094 (see previous post).
(Trump will be setting the numbers for FY2018 in September of this year.)
But this is what you need to know:  50,000 doesn’t represent a shocking reduction when you look at the history of resettlement since 2001. (These numbers, below, came from this chart, Wrapsnet, and from ORR annual reports to Congress).
Here are the numbers we admitted through the Bush and Obama Administrations (Bush had 4 years under 50,000!). Remember the resettlement agencies are paid by the head, so it is to their financial benefit to see high numbers:

2001: 87,259 (this year’s number would have been proposed by Clinton in the fall of 2000)

2002: 45,896

2003: 39,554

2004: 79,158

2005: 69,006

2006: 41,223

2007: 48,282

2008: 60,191

2009: 74,654

2010: 73,311

2011: 56,424

2012: 58,238

2013: 69,926

2014: 69,987

2015: 69,993

2016: 84,994

Again, 50,000 might look like a great reduction when compared to Obama’s 110,000 proposed number, but it isn’t that significant a reduction.  I bet the media will report this as Trump cutting the refugee numbers in half!
See our Trump Watch! category for all the news about the delayed executive order.

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