The limit, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is the lowest any White House has sought since 1980, the year legislation was enacted giving the president a role in determining a cap on refugees; the ceiling has never slipped lower than 67,000, the number Ronald Reagan set in 1986…

Mr. Trump’s decision follows a fierce internal debate among senior members of his administration. Military and foreign policy officials pressed for resettling more refugees as a national security and moral imperative, while other top officials, led by Stephen Miller, his top policy adviser, and backed by John F. Kelly, his chief of staff and former secretary of homeland security, advocated slashing the number to as low as 15,000 based on concerns about cost and safety.