State Dept's top refugee official will step down in coming days

State Dept's top refugee official will step down in coming days
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The top State Department official charged with overseeing refugee issues is stepping down. 

Simon Henshaw, the acting assistant secretary for the department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, announced in an email to colleagues on Saturday that he planned to leave his post in the coming days.

The email was reported by Reuters. Henshaw said he will remain at the State Department in a different capacity. 

“After 4 and a half years in the job and a year into the new administration, I thought it time for me to move on,” Henshaw wrote. 


Carol O'Connell, the deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, will take charge of the bureau on Jan. 22, Henshaw said, according to Reuters.

A State Department official confirmed to The Hill that Henshaw would leave the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and said that he would continue to serve at the department in another role.

"As a career Senior Foreign Service officer, Mr. Henshaw rotates into new assignments every few years and will continue to serve the Department in another capacity," the official said in an email.

Reuters reported earlier this week that another senior official at the State Department's refugee bureau, Lawrence Bartlett, the head of refugee admissions, had been temporarily reassigned to the office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Trump administration has sought to drastically reduce the number of refugees admitted to the U.S., setting the cap on those allowed into the U.S. at 45,000.

In his last year in office, former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSome of us Midwesterners think maybe Amy Klobuchar would do OK as president FDA tobacco crackdown draws fire from right As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural MORE announced that the U.S. would admit at least 110,000 refugees to the U.S. But that plan was scrapped when Trump entered office last year.

--Updated at 8:23 p.m.