Fiscal Year 2020 Refugee and Asylee Annual Flow Report

Ryan Baugh
Date of Publication: 
March, 2022
Source Organization: 
Department of Homeland Security

This annual report provides information on the number and characteristics of those who were granted refugee status or were granted asylum in the government’s fiscal year 2020 (October 2019 to September 2020). The report also explains the process by which individuals gain refugee or asylee status, and gives a brief history of U.S. refugee resettlement. Refugee admissions are limited at the top end by a “ceiling” set each year by the president (in consultation with Congress). In FY 2020, the refugee ceiling was set at 18,000, the lowest level since the start of the modern refugee program in 1980. However, only 11,840 were actually admitted, a 60 percent decrease from the previous year. The leading countries of nationality for those admitted were the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, and Ukraine. Persons applying for asylum do so affirmatively — they apply directly through an asylum officer — or defensively in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. There were 93,224 affirmative asylum applications in 2020, with the top three nationalities being Venezuela, China, and Guatemala, and 31,429 individuals gained asylum through this process. There were far more defensive applications — 189,838 — representing a decrease of 11 percent from 2019 and the first year-over-year decrease in several years. The top nationalities of defensive asylum applications were Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and 14,565 individuals gained asylum through this process. The report includes charts and tables detailing the geographic and demographic characteristics of refugees and asylees in FY 2020. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

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Baugh, R. (2022, March). Fiscal Year 2020 Refugee and Asylee Annual Flow Report. U.S. Department of Homeland Security.