A new report from World Relief contains some eye-popping statistics about how President Donald Trump’s strict immigration policy has affected refugees fleeing religious persecution around the world. While President Trump said that persecuted Christians would be a top priority of his administration, the number of Christians admitted to the United States from countries with the highest levels of persecution has dropped an astonishing 79 percent between 2016 and 2018.
“This dynamic with persecuted Christians and religious minorities, in particular, does not fit the campaign rhetoric, and it’s not consistent with the focus on international religious freedom that I think is an admirable goal,” World Relief’s Matthew Soerens told Religion News Service.
The total number of Christians admitted to the U.S. has overall declined about 57 percent, Soerens said.
It’s not just Christians who are being affected. In fact, the number of Muslim refugees being admitted has fallen a jaw-dropping 91 percent since 2016. That statistic falls more in line with President Trump’s campaign rhetoric and well-known distaste for refugees from Muslim-majority countries.
President Trump has capped the the number of refugees he’ll allow to be resettled during the current fiscal year at 30,000, by far the lowest in the history of the U.S. resettlement program, down from the already record-setting 45,000 ceiling he instituted his first year in office. During President Obama’s last year in office, the cap was 110,000.