Washington : The US resettled 33,000 refugees in 2017, a roughly two-thirds drop from the figure of the previous year, which stood at 97,000, according to data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees published in a report by US-based Pew Research Centre.
The decline in refugee resettlement in the US coincided with the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House in January 2017, Efe news reported on Friday citing the think thank.
This marks the first time that the US has received fewer refugees than the rest of the world combined since it adopted the Refugee Act in 1980. The country has taken 3 million of the 4 million refugees worldwide since 1980.
In 2016, during the tenure of former President Barack Obama, refugee resettlement in the US stood at 97,000 while that of other countries stood at 92,000.
The US continues to lead in refugee resettlement (33,000), followed by Canada (27,000), Australia (15,000), the UK (6,000) and Germany, Sweden, France and Norway (3,000 each).
Refugees represent nearly 30 per cent of the world’s displaced population. In 2017, about 56 per cent came from the Middle East and North Africa, especially Syria, while 23 per cent arrived from sub-Saharan countries and another 15 per cent from Asia.
Trump has lowered the refugee quota for the 2018 fiscal year to 45,000 from the 110,000 set by Obama for 2017. With three months left in the current 2018 fiscal year, the US has welcomed 16,000 refugees.
Trump criticized the refugee policy during his presidential campaign, saying that terrorists could come to the US in the guise of refugees.