It has been 4 weeks since President Trump announced his 120-day “moratorium” on refugee resettlement as part of the court-halted Executive Order. And, for the umpteenth time, I repeat that the President did not have to even announce any “moratorium” or put it in an Executive Order! He has the power to simply stop the processing!
Then on March 30th we were stunned to learn that they were aiming to bring in 900 refugees a week through the remainder of the fiscal year that ends on September 30th.
If he and Tillerson keep that pace they will admit around 60,000 this year which is near the average number we have admitted since 9/11.
Do they think we are not watching?
George Bush loved refugees and he averaged under 60,000!
Sure enough, according to Wrapsnet in the last week, from April 6th to today (April 13th) they have admitted 977 refugees in ONE WEEK!
It was yesterday that I noticed Trump had passed the 40,000 mark (it was 40,180 this time yesterday morning). Today it is 40,602 (you might get slightly different numbers depending on the time of day you check the data, I try to check around the same time every day.)
That is an increase just since this time yesterday of 402! (See my right hand sidebar where I am tracking the numbers every few days).
Going back to the date that the “moratorium” was supposed to begin on March 16th the Trump State Department has admitted 2,496 refugees.
Of the 2,496, topping the list are 335 Syrians! 327 of those are Muslims. Other countries, where Trump’s campaign promise of “extreme vetting” was supposed to be put in place (Somalia and Iraq), come in at 283 each, and we admitted 116 Iranians in the last 4 weeks.
Most interesting to me is that we admitted 333 Burmese (that part is no a surprise because we have been admitting Burmese minorities for years and years).
The big surprise is that in just the last 4 weeks we admitted 100 Burmese Rohingya Muslims. When I first started writing RRW in 2007, we were steering clear of bringing the devout Rohingya to America.
VOLAGs not making so much noise now!
Have you noticed that there are fewer news stories about the Refugee contractors*** screaming bloody murder about Trump (and their loss of federal bucks) in the last week or so? I have. Has the word gone out to shut up for awhile?
The ultimate test for me will come in September when the Trump Department of State will send its “determination” to the Hill with the proposed numbers for FY2018. Will Trump simply cave and continue the trend he has begun to bring in the average number of refugees that we have seen in the last 15 years?
We will also be watching to see if the Tillerson Dept. of State will go back to holding public hearings on the size and scope of the US Refugee Admissions Program. The Obama DOS abandoned the public hearing format in 2015 after several years of hearings that had gotten contentious. See my comments last year here.
The ‘hearing’ is usually in May or possibly early June. We will be watching!
If the Trump team were smart they would hold some field hearings so that citizens impacted by the program could voice their concerns to the Administration—but, don’t hold your breath!
*** For new readers, these are the nine major contractors (VOLAGs), paid by you, to resettle refugees in your towns and cities:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)