The number of refugees taken in by the United States has dropped from close to 85,000 to 53,000 from fiscal year 2016 compared to 2017. According to data compiled by the Migration Policy Institute
, the number of admitted refugees in 2017 exceeded the official ceiling slightly by around 3,000 people.
The number of persons who should legally be admitted as refugees is established by the President in consultation with Congress each year. In contrast to economic migrants refugees are unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin or nationality because of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion in the countries they are fleeing.