Dozens of refugee resettlement offices to close as Trump downsizes program

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations, according to plans seen by Reuters.

The slated closures, which are being reviewed by the State Department for final approval, follow President Donald Trump’s decision to dramatically reduce the number of refugees that will be allowed into the United States in 2018.

The State Department has said the drop in refugee numbers, from the 110,000 ceiling set by the Obama administration to 45,000 for 2018, means the country no longer needs all of the 324 resettlement offices that were operating at the end of 2017. This year’s cap on refugees is the lowest since 1980.

Related… The cost of refugee resettlement in the US is simply too high

The United States currently spends about $1.8 billion annually — or $8.8 billion over five years — to resettle refugees and asylees inside the country, according to a new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). That’s nearly $15,900 a year per refugee, or $80,000 over a five-year span.