Once evenly split, the share of Christian refugees admitted to the US now far exceeds Muslims

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Image: Reuters/Erik de Castro
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The US is admitting a lot less Muslim refugees than it used to.

According to the most recent data from the US state department’s Refugee Processing Center, there was a similar share of Muslim and Christian refugees entering the US from 2013 to 2017. But once Donald Trump entered the White House in 2017, the share of Muslim refugees nose-dived.

In the 2017 fiscal year (starting Oct. 1, 2016), there was a slightly greater share of Christian refugees (47%) admitted to the US than Muslim refugees (43%), while in 2016 there was a higher share of Muslim refugees (46%) than Christian refugees (44%). So far this fiscal year (starting Oct. 1, 2017), more than three times as many Christian refugees than Muslims have been admitted to the US: Christian refugees account for 66% of 2018 admissions, while Muslims make up just 17%.

Overall, the numbers of refugees decreased from nearly 85,000 in 2016 to just under 54,000 in 2017. The number of refugees admitted to the US this fiscal year is expected to fall even lower than 2017; grom Oct. 1, 2017 to April 31, 2018, the US has admitted just 12,188 refugees—a figure significantly below the 39,100 admissions in the same time frame a year earlier. That’s largely because the Trump administration capped the total number of 2018 admissions at 45,000, the lowest cap since Congress created the current refugee program in 1980.

Shortly after his inauguration, Trump said he wanted prioritize admitting Christian refugees into the country. His rhetoric and controversial travel ban against seven majority-Muslim countries may have helped him do just that.