President Trump order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year.
Before 2016, when Obama dramatically ramped up refugee admissions, Trump’s 50,000 stands roughly in-between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bush’s two terms and a typical year in Obama’s two terms. The chart below, from the Migration Policy Institute
In 2002, the United States admitted only 27,131 refugees, it admitted fewer than 50,000 in 2003, 2006, and 2007, as for President Obama, he was slightly more generous than President Bush, but his refugee cap from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000, and in 2011 and 2012 he admitted barely more than 50,000 refugees himself.
The bottom line is that Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016, Obama’s expansion was a departure from recent norms, not Trump’s contraction.
The order imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, these are countries either torn apart by jihadist violence or under the control of hostile, jihadist governments.
The ban is in place while the Department of Homeland Security determines the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefits under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public safety threat, It could, however, be extended or expanded depending on whether countries are capable of providing the requested information.
President Trump’s order isn’t a betrayal of American values, applied correctly and competently, it can represent a promising fresh start and a prelude to new policies that protect our nation while still maintaining American compassion and preserving American friendships.