August is usually the surge month for the U.S. refugee admissions program to meet annual resettlement targets before the end of the fiscal year.
Last year, the U.S. resettled 13,255 refugees in August, the highest monthly number in a year that brought 85,000 refugees to the United States. In the last month of the Obama administration, the U.S. allowed in 1,318 Syrian refugees. In August, the Trump administration allowed only 48 Syrian refugees into the U.S., a 96 percent drop.
This August, just 913 refugees were resettled into the U.S., the smallest monthly total in 15 years, according to the State Department’s refugee database.
The religious identity of refugees resettled to the United States also shifted dramatically. In August 2016, the U.S. admitted an even split of 6,059 Muslims and 5,982 Christians: 46 percent to 45 percent. In August 2017, the U.S. admitted 220 Muslims and 573 Christians, 573: 24 percent to 57 percent.
A similar shift is in evidence across the first seven months of the Trump administration. Over that period, 51 percent of the 18,944 refugees resettled were Christians while 37 percent were Muslims. In comparison, for the same February-August period in 2016, 43 percent of the 54,186 refugees admitted were Christian and 47 percent Muslim (25,269).