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President Donald Trump has slashed the number of refugees allowed into the United States to historic low of 15,000 in 2020.

This includes 6,000 unused places from the previous financial year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The White House made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday. The number of refugees who can be admitted from Iraq was put at 4,000 and the number admitted from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras at 1,000.

The 10,000 other spots are for people who fear persecution for their religious beliefs or political activities under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Programme.

“Persons from certain high-risk areas of terrorist presence or control, including Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, shall not be admitted as refugees, except those refugees of special humanitarian concern”, the statement added.

The latest figure is the lowest level since the introduction of the U.S. refugee programme in 1980. The limit for the last fiscal year was 18,000. In 2017, about 53,000 refugees were admitted, according to a 2019 report by the Department of Homeland Security.

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