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Our 9 month series, New Hampshire's Immigration Story explored just that... the vast history of who came to New Hampshire, when they came, why they came, the challenges they faced once they landed on Granite State soil and the contributions that they brought to our state. The Exchange, Word of Mouth, and our News Department looked at the issue of immigration from its first arrivals to the newest refugees calling New Hampshire home.We saw how immigration affects our economy, health care, education system, culture and our current system of law. We also looked at what's going on in New Hampshire today, as we uncovered the groups, societies and little known people who are making an impact all over the state.Funding for NH's Immigration Story is brought to you in part by: New Hampshire Humanities Council, Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation, The Gertrude Couch Trust0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff89e10000

Refugee Resettlement In N.H. Plummets Under Trump Administration

Sara Plourde

The number of refugees being resettled in New Hampshire has dropped dramatically under the Trump administration.

There were 162 refugees resettled in the state in Fiscal Year 2018, according to an annual report from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services. That's down from 518 two years prior. 

Since taking office, President Trump has lowered the ceiling on refugee admissions into the United States, setting a cap of 30,000 for Fiscal Year 2019, a record low in the program's 43-year history. 

By comparison, the U.S. admitted nearly 85,000 refugees in 2016. 

NHPR's The Exchange examined the refugee program in New Hampshire on Monday. Jeff Thielman, CEO and President of the International Institute of New England, was on the panel. His agency is one of two that works to resettle refugees in New Hampshire. 

Thielman criticized the Trump administration's policies limiting refugees.

"We're big enough. We have enough need for workers right now. And we have a longstanding history of resettling refugees," Thielman said. "The facts on the ground show that when the United States of America resettles refugees, people in other countries are kinder to refugees and it alleviates some of the pressure on the system worldwide."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the cap on refugees reflects the administration's preference for settling refugees closer to their home counties. He also raised concerns about security.

"We must continue to responsibly vet applicants to prevent the entry of those who might do harm to our country," Pompeo said in Sept. 2018, announcing the lower refugee cap.

Most of the refugees resettled in New Hampshire in 2018 came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to DHHS.

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.

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