While 30,000 is the maximum number the US will admit in fiscal 2019, the actual number could be far less.
It compares with a 45,000-refugee limit set by President Donald Trump for 2018 and 50,000 the year before.
While Pompeo said the USA remains the most generous nation to refugees, the proposal was met with swift outrage from refugee resettlement agencies and human rights groups like Church World Service and Refugees International, calling it "appalling", "an affront to American communities", and "a shameful abdication of our humanity in the face of the worst refugee crisis in history".
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about refugees as he makes a statement to the media, September 17, 2018, at the State Department in Washington. "Some would categorize the refugee ceiling as the sole barometer of America's commitment to vulnerable people around the world".More news: 'I already sit where Messi and Cristiano are' - Griezmann
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the country proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the new refugee ceiling as well as processing more than 280,000 asylum seekers.
Humanitarian groups had already been livid with the Trump White House for limiting this fiscal year to just 45,000 refugees.
"These expansive figures continue the United States' long-standing record as the most generous nation in the world when it comes to protection-based immigration and assistance", he said.
The US welcomed almost 85,000 refugees in the final year of Barack Obama's presidency.More news: McDonald's is giving away FREE cheeseburgers tomorrow
During the ceiling announcement Monday Pompeo advocated U.S. efforts "to end conflicts that drive displacement in the first place and to target the application of foreign aid in a smarter way". "There is absolutely no excuse for not accepting more refugees in the coming year". Team Trump has been willing to put up with a lot of bad publicity to keep dusky foreigners out, as evidenced by its determination to apply a "zero-tolerance" policy towards asylum-seekers who cross the border illegally, even if that means separating families.
Trump has linked increased immigration to increased crime in the United States.
"Since 2000, over one and a half million people have been admitted as refugees or granted asylum in the United States of America". Cases are screened by the Defense Department, FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies.
UNHCR has been sounding the alarm for years about the growing number of people forcibly displaced around the world, which stood at 68.5 million at the end of 2017, including 25.4 million refugees who had fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution.More news: Trump orders 'immediate' declassification of FISA documents, DOJ-FBI texts