Top refugee official at DHS announces plan to retire
© Greg Nash

A top refugee official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced her plan to retire, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Barbara Strack, chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at the department's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services arm, told Reuters that her upcoming birthday, which will put her within retirement age, was her reason for the timing of her announcement.

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Strack's division oversees the interviewing of refugees seeking resettlement in the U.S. Her announcement comes as the Trump administration has cracked down on refugee admissions with increased vetting measures and quotas, spurring concern among many refugee advocates.

Strack, however, told Reuters that her retirement was something she had been "planning towards for a long time" and was "not driven by policy considerations." 

The administration has capped the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. at a record low of 45,000 for 2018, in addition to a policy of "extreme" vetting to prevent domestic terrorism. 

The number of refugees entering the U.S. has also dropped by 40 percent in the weeks after President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE lifted a temporary ban on all refugees.