The 45,000 cap, to be formally announced by President Donald Trump in the coming days, reflects the maximum the United States will admit during the fiscal year that starts on Sunday (local time), although the actual number allowed could be far lower.
The Trump administration has slashed the number of refugees allowed in the U.S.by more than half despite raging violence and worsening crises across the world.
The US will resettle a maximum of 45,000 refugees in the upcoming fiscal year, the State Department said.
Worldwide, there were some 22.5 million refugees a year ago, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, with many more people internally displaced within their home countries.
"The security and safety of the American people is our chief concern", a US official said in a call with reporters on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The State Department, which oversees the program, has formally recommended that the number be kept at 50,000, according to Trump administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.
For fiscal year 2017, which ends September 30, former President established a cap of 110,000 refugees for permanent resettlement in the United States.
Former president Barack Obama had wanted to take in 110,000 in 2017, but the pace slowed dramatically after Mr Trump took office and issued an executive order addressing refugees. In previous years, the US had admitted an estimated 70,000 refugees annually. The Refugee Act mandates that the president determine a refugee admissions number by the end of this month, and Trump ought to substantially increase the level for 2018.
The International Rescue Committee says the current number of refugees, 22.5 million, is the highest ever, majority women and children.
Gold Prices Fall as The Fed Signals Another Rate Hike This Year
USA crude stocks were reduced by 761,000 barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute announced on Tuesday. Brent crude, the standard for global oil prices, gained 22 cents to $58.14 a barrel in London.
She said other countries might try to follow suit by closing the door to more refugees. But the George W. Bush and Obama administrations accepted more than 45,000 every year since 2006.
Trump is considering bringing his 50,000 refugee cap even lower for 2018. "The United States can also help a larger number of refugees by resettling them in their home region and enabling their eventual safe return home".
However, less than 1% of the world's refugees are resettled in this way.
Bill Frelick, director of the refugee program at Human Rights Watch said, that criteria was "completely irrelevant".
While the report does not say assimilation will be a primary factor, that it is a consideration at all is a major policy change from previous years, when the basis of the program was on the need of refugees for protection.
Congressional officials received the administration's report in hard-copy form on Wednesday less than three hours before a scheduled consultation between cabinet officials and top Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, one Congressional aide said. And top White House advisers, including Stephen Miller, argued for a much lower cap in the first place.
In a speech to the United Nations last week, he thanked Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Syrian conflict, and described the United States as a "compassionate nation" that has spent "billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort".
He had also taken aim at German chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing more than a million refugees into Germany in 2015 at the height of the refugee crisis.