Cruelty in Action

According to the New York Times the Trump Administration is planning on setting the cap on refugee admissions into the U.S. at 45,000 for next year.  This, as the article points out, would be the lowest amount of refugees admitted into the U.S. since the United States Refugee Act was passed in 1980 allowing the President to set the number of refugees admitted each year.  That year the admissions cap was 231,700 and the next year, when that notorious bleeding heart liberal Ronald Reagan was President, the cap was 217,000.  Since then the cap has not went below 67,000 until this year when the Trump administration lowered it to 50,000.Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 6.12.34 PM

(Source: Migration Policy Institute)

The internal deliberations within the administration pitted the military and state department who wanted a higher cap against Stephen Miller and John Kelly who wanted a cap of 15,000!

“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.”

“Defense and State Department officials, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the United States mission to the United Nations, had recommended that Mr. Trump admit at least 50,000 refugees during the next fiscal year, according to several people briefed on the debate.”

Of course Stephen Miller was also responsible for suppressing the HHS research showing that refugees are not a fiscal burden on the U.S.

“Mr. Miller and other advocates of reducing refugee admissions had worked for months to justify doing so, even rejecting internal government research that found that refugees have a positive impact on the nation’s fiscal condition. Instead, they argued that vetting refugees to insure they do not pose a terrorism threat and adjudicating their resettlement applications are too costly and burdensome, and that once in the United States, they become a drain on American resources that could be better spent assisting persecuted people closer to their home countries.

Refugee resettlement groups say there is no evidence to support such concerns.

“Setting a record-low cap on refugee resettlement, the White House is showing a stunning cruelty toward those fleeing our common enemies — enemies who intend to paint the U.S. as indifferent to refugees’ suffering,” said Hans Van de Weerd, vice president of United States programs at the International Rescue Committee, another of the nine resettlement agencies.”

This policy is shameful and cruel.  There is a ongoing global refugee crisis and the U.S. has a moral obligation and strategic imperative to do more.

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