Protesters gather outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street to protest against refugee ban [File: Lucas Jackson/Reuters]

The Trump administration said on Thursday in a statement it wanted to dramatically cut the number of refugees to be resettled in the United States in the 2020 fiscal year to 18,000, the lowest level in the history of the modern refugee programme. 

Since taking office, President Donald Trump, who campaigned on restricting immigration, has slashed the number of refugees allowed into the US – decisions decried by human rights advocates and national security experts.

Last year, the administration capped the programme at 30,000 refugees for 2019, down from 45,000 people in 2018, which itself was the lowest ceiling since 1980.

Despite the 45,000 cap last year, only 22,491 refugees

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