WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton has increased the number of refugees to be allowed legal entry into the United States to 100,000, including those who fled Kosovo during the recent conflict.

In a memo Thursday, Clinton authorized entry of up to 100,000 refugees during fiscal 2000, up from 78,000 the year before.

Admissions are based on country-by-country allocations made each year by the State Department. Applicants must prove valid fears of persecution based on race, religion, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

This year, Clinton increased the entry levels for European refugees by 6,000 and for African refugees by 2,000. Entries from Latin America and the Caribbean remained at 3,000.

Under the new authorization, 57,000 refugees would be allowed in from Europe, 8,000 each from East and South Asia, and 14,000 from Africa. An additional 10,000 slots were not allocated.

Last year, 48,000 refugees were allowed from Europe, 9,000 from East Asia, 12,000 from Africa, 3,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 4,000 from Near East/South Asia. An additional 2,000 slots were not allocated.