I know, I am a broken record on this issue and that it is more interesting to read about the rich kids at Harvard wanting refugees and about Muslim refugees facing trial skipping out on bail, but we have to address the boring numbers stuff too.
Here is what we know:
~The President sets the CEILING for refugee admissions each year (the ceiling is a cap!).
~President Obama set the ceiling for FY17 at 110,000 in his final months in office (he never set a ceiling that high in his previous 7 years).
~Donald Trump’s EO reset it at 50,000.
~As of today we are at 49,803 according to Wrapsnet.
~The Supreme Court confirmed the 50,000 with a caveat. Anyone who could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a relative in the US or to an “entity” could come in above the 50,000 cap.
~I contend that with that stipulation, the Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to rewrite refugee law because there is a mechanism in the Refugee Act to go above the cap, but it sure doesn’t involve the courts. The President must determine that there is an emergency and he must consult with Congress—not the courts—to go above the ceiling.
Tomorrow or the next day, we will cross the 50,000 mark.
Have we ever surpassed a refugee ceiling?
I wanted to know if we have ever gone above the ceiling and so I did some research and this is what I learned:
Since 1983 (over 30 years!), no President has exceeded the ceiling, but many of them came in way below the ceiling previously set.
From the 2007 ORR Annual Report to Congress a chart (p.4) showing CEILINGS and numbers actually admitted going back to 1983.
Now pick it up from 2007 to right now, end of June 2017 from Wrapsnet. Have they ever surpassed the ceiling in more recent years? NO!
But, I want you take note of the fact that the US State Department (Trump’s DOS!) cannot even bring itself to put the 50,000 in the CEILING column. I explained here about when it was removed. In fact the chart last month (for the end of May) left out the whole ceiling column!
By the way, ignore all the wailing and moaning by the contractors. If you check the average admissions number for 20 years up to Obama’s huge FY16, the average admissions come in at just over 62,000. If the Supremes get their way, you can bet Trump will be forced past that number. (Congress has appropriated enough money for 75,000 by September 30th!)
If the President is serious, he can ask Congress for a rescission of those funds!
We will be watching every day! Any refugees over 50,000 are the responsibility of the Supreme Court having taken over the President’s constitutional authority to protect us!