Trump administration considering cutting number of refugees accepted into US to zero: report

The Trump administration is reportedly considering capping the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. in 2020 at zero, in what would in effect be a shutdown of the United States's refugee program.

Insiders familiar with ongoing discussions between security officials and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told Politico that one plan being considered is to set the number of refugees admitted to the U.S at zero.

A more modest plan reportedly proposed by Homeland Security officials would set the cap between 3,000 and 10,000, however. Sources told Politico that the official recommendation by agencies would be submitted by the beginning of August.

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Refugee advocates told Politico that such a change would mark a major blow to groups helping resettle refugees and throw off thousands of people who are in the middle of the refugee application process.

The refugee program is different than the asylum program, which the Trump administration has also sought to place new caps on. Asylum-seekers make their applications once they've arrived in the U.S., while refugees apply for protection while still outside the country. 

Reports of the possible refugee program changes come after the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department announced plans this week to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants. 

The new rule would make any asylum-seeker who has passed through another country before reaching the U.S. ineligible for asylum. Under the rule, those who have been the victims of trafficking are granted exceptions.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE has called U.S. immigration laws the "dumbest" in the world and has called on Congress to pass bills to tighten asylum laws.

His administration has defended new restrictions as necessary for reforming the immigration system as a rising number try to enter the United States through the asylum program.