Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Andorra Bruno. November 30, 2016
A refugee is a person fleeing his or her country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Typically, the annual number of refugees that can be admitted into the United States, known as the refugee ceiling, and the allocation of these numbers by region are set by the President after consultation with Congress at the start of each fiscal year.
For FY2017, the worldwide refugee ceiling is 110,000, with 96,000 admissions numbers allocated among the regions of the world and 14,000 numbers comprising an unallocated reserve. An unallocated reserve is to be used if, and where, a need develops for refugee slots in excess of the allocated numbers. The FY2017 regional allocations are, as follows: Africa (35,000), East Asia (12,000), Europe and Central Asia (4,000), Latin America/Caribbean (5,000), and Near East/South Asia (40,000).
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