Trump sets refugee cap for 2018 at 45,000

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his return to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will allow a maximum of 45,000 refugees into the U.S. in fiscal year 2018 – the lowest cap on admissions in decades.

Trump signed a memorandum announcing the decision Friday.

The White House says Trump is taking a “responsible and humanitarian approach” and argues the reduction is needed to allow more thorough vetting of applicants.

The U.S. welcomed 84,995 refugees in fiscal year 2016, and former President Barack Obama had wanted to raise that number to 110,000 in 2017.

Trump has made limiting immigration the centerpiece of his foreign policy agenda.

The actual number of refugees who move to the United States could also wind up much lower than the 45,000 person cap.

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