State Dept. to scale back US operations for refugee resettlement: report

State Dept. to scale back US operations for refugee resettlement: report

The State Department is planning on reducing the number of local offices aimed at resettling refugees across the U.S. in 2018, Reuters reported Thursday.

Department officials informed representatives from nine refugee agencies of the plan during a meeting earlier this month. 

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An official told Reuters the decision is meant to “reduce costs and simplify management structures to help the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program run in a way that is fiscally responsible and sustainable.”

However, refugee advocates say closing the local offices would present roadblocks to refugees looking to resettle in the U.S.

The director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement under former President Obama, Robert Carey, told the news organization that if the offices are shut down, refugees would have a more difficult time adjusting to life in the U.S. They would not have the same kind of access to “services to help them navigate the processes of registering for school, and English classes and finding a job," he said.

The Trump administration's policies on refugees are a departure from those of the Obama administration. 

Trump announced in September that the U.S. would allow no more than 45,000 refugees into the U.S. in 2018. 

Reuters also reported in October that the president was considering pausing a program that allows refugees to reunite with family members already settled in the country.