Investigative journalist, author and popular speaker James Simpson has penned an excellent overview of the Refugee Admissions Program published at The Federalist a few days ago.
Full of facts and figures with many links to more information, it is entitled:
Simpson concludes with this prescription for the incoming Trump administration reflecting my views as well:
The resettlement program is dangerous, expensive, and unfair to Americans. Its structure encourages endless growth, systemic corruption, cronyism, secrecy, and duplicity. The refugee program must be put on hold. Members of Congress have called for a moratorium, and such legislation is circulating. H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, has 86 co-sponsors.
But legislation isn’t needed. On his first day in office, Trump can pause the entire program by simply resetting the annual refugee targets to whatever number has already been reached this fiscal year. The 1980 Refugee Act gives him authority to do this, and subsequent court decisions have declared Congress’s refugee resettlement oversight authority as advisory only.
Trump has stated his desire to halt resettlement from nations of terrorism concern. It would be wiser to pause the entire program.
Once paused, the entire system must be either trashed or completely reformed. Congress must do that, and by pausing the program it puts the hammer over reluctant Congressional leaders’ heads! If they want to admit refugees to the US, they can reform it or completely scrap the present law and start all over. But, that fight must be fought.
Trump could easily do what George Bush did in the wake of 9/11!
There is precedent for pausing the program. George Bush partially paused it in the two years following 9/11. I just had a look at the ORR Annual Report to Congress for 2003 and entry tables*** are telling. We went from admitting 94,226 refugees in FY2000, and 87,110 in FY2001 to the following numbers for FY02 and FY03: 45,850 and 39,177 respectively.
Going back to my previous post where I reported that we have admitted 25,671 refugees in the first 90 days of this fiscal year, if that rate continues until January 20th (adding another 5,704) that means by inauguration day the number for this fiscal year will be 31,375. And, if Trump doesn’t pause it until January 30th, then we are looking at 34,228 having entered by then (not far off of the Bush numbers).
Your work is not over because Trump must take the initiative to change the law, not just halt or slow the flow during his term in office.
So, pausing, or giving the program a ‘time-out,’ when Trump enters office will not be unprecedented or unreasonable to help assure our safety and will throw the ball to Congress where the law must be changed or in 4-8 years we will be back to square one.
***BTW, I was interested to see the dramatic drop in Somali numbers from 2001 (4,940) to 2002 (242!). Worried about Somalis weren’t they!