The Trump administration is capping the number of refugees which will be allowed into the U.S. at 30,000 in 2019, a record low. Liberal critics will undoubtedly cite this as evidence of xenophobia but that misses the point entirely.

Deirdre Shesgreen and Alan Gomez report at USA Today:

US sets lowest cap ever on admissions of refugees fleeing war, violence and persecution

The Trump administration will dramatically restrict the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States next year – permitting no more than 30,000 people fleeing war, violence and persecution across the globe to make a new home in America.

That’s down from the 45,000 refugee cap set last year, which was already the lowest since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980. And data from the State Department indicates the administration won’t even reach that 45,000. With only two weeks remaining in the 2018 fiscal year, the administration has admitted 20,918 refugees.

In making the announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would also “process” 280,000 asylum seekers attempting to enter the U.S. He did not say the U.S. would accept that many asylum seekers but said the idea they would at least get a shot to claim asylum showed the administration’s “commitment to vulnerable people around the world.”

“These expansive figures continue the United States’ longstanding record as the most generous nation in the world when it comes to protection-based immigration and assistance,” Pompeo said.

Here’s a video of Mike Pompeo making the announcement:

One of the reasons Trump won in 2016 is because many Americans feared Democrats intended to flood the United States with refugees from third world countries.

Conservatives argued that it would be impossible to vet everyone properly and that this increased the possibility of terrorists slipping through the cracks.

Many on the right have also argued that progressives want more refugees not because of sympathy but because they view them as new Democrat voters.

The way that CNN chose to frame the story is rather telling:

Refugee levels are surging worldwide. Trump is slashing the number the US will let in

Monday’s announcement was met with swift condemnation from refugee resettlement organizations.

“The United States is not only abdicating humanitarian leadership and responsibility-sharing in response to the worst global displacement and refugee crisis since World War II, but compromising critical strategic interests and reneging on commitments to allies and vulnerable populations,” the International Rescue Committee said.

Pompeo’s assertion that the US will process up to 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers also makes a false equivalence between the two issues.

Asylum and refugee protections are designed on similar grounds to protect immigrants who are being persecuted. Refugee protections are granted to immigrants who are still abroad, whereas asylum is reserved for immigrants who have already arrived on US soil.

The American people are extremely generous and charitable. There is absolutely nothing wrong with exercising caution when national security is concerned.

Featured image via YouTube.