Trump Admin. has kept refugee flow relatively low, but real test coming

Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart has a very nice summary of where we are and where we have been in recent years with the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.

Here are a few snips, but please read the whole thing:

Nine hundred and ten refugees were resettled in the United States during the month of August, the lowest monthly total since October 2002, when only 421 refugees were resettled.

Hillary and Soros
Just a reminder to you (and me!) to not get too discouraged. It could be worse if Hillary and her longtime pal George (Soros) were in the White House!

During the first eleven months of FY 2017, a total of 51,389 refugees have been resettled, according to the State Department interactive website as of 8:00 a.m. eastern time on September 1. If the number of refugees resettled in September is similar to the number resettled in August, FY 2017 will close out with less than 53,000 refugees resettled in the country, the lowest total since FY 2007 in the George W. Bush administration when 48,282 refugees were resettled.

Only 24 percent of the refugees resettled in August, or 217 out of 910, were Muslim, significantly less than the 46 percent of refugees resettled in the first seven months of FY 2017 who were Muslim.

In FY 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration, that same percentage of refugees–46 percent, or 39,098 out of 84,995– were Muslim.

In FY 2008, the last full year of the George W. Bush administration, 23 percent of resettled refugees were Muslim.


Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the president makes a presidential determination of the ceiling number of refugees to be resettled in the United States in September for the following fiscal year that begins the next month, in October.

The actual number of refugees resettled that following fiscal year is determined in a back and forth interaction between Congressional leaders in the budgeting process and the president’s ceiling number determination. In almost every fiscal year since 1980, the number of refugees resettled through Congressional budget authorizations is either less than or equal to the presidential determination. [In fact, this year FY17, is the first year that the CEILING has been surpassed since the law was enacted. That is because the Supreme Court was unconstitutionally writing new law!—ed]

The president can make a ceiling determination, but it is Congress who appropriates the funds to resettle refugees.

We would have been finished if Hillary had been elected!

Hillary Clinton was on the record stating we should increase the number of Syrian refugees resettled in the country by 550 percent, from 10,000 proposed for FY 2016 to 65,000 annually. She also signaled that under a Hillary Clinton administration, the annual refugee ceiling would be increased above 110,000–up to as much as 200,000.

Then-candidate Trump, in contrast, promised a “A Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed.”

So what happened with that?  Any effort made to determine the support of local communities for the next fiscal year?

Leahy continues….

In less than thirty days, President Trump will announce his presidential determination of the refugee ceiling for FY 2018, and that number will clearly indicate the degree to which he intends to follow through on his campaign promises.

Trump and Congress need to get cracking (see my previous post) if they plan to follow the law for once before simply announcing how many third worlders we are going to be adding to our social safety net for the new fiscal year which begins on October 1!

Continue reading Breitbart here. It is an excellent summary of where we stand right now.

Here is what the ‘Refugee Act of 1980’ says the Prez and Congress must do right now…

It is the beginning of September and the new fiscal year begins on October 1.  That would be FY18.

The President will submit his ‘determination’ letter and report to Congress about how many refugees COULD BE admitted for FY18 and designates where in the world they would come from.

You and I might not want Congress involved in consulting on the number of refugees to be admitted in FY18, but the original law does give them a role (besides funding) whether they like it or not. And, it is time the Republican leadership goes on record about how many refugees they want!

The Refugee Act of 1980 is here.  Note that in the first three years after passage the number was limited to 50,000 unless the President determined there was an emergency requiring a higher number.

As far as I can tell, other than the first 3 years, the law is silent on numbers less than 50,000.  That means to me that the President could come in anywhere under that and be within the law!

I’ve been arguing that, in light of the Supreme Court having tied the law in knots, the program should be suspended right now until there is clarity from the Supremes, and I think the President could easily make the argument for suspension.

(Add the enormous number of hurricane Harvey refugees to the discussion!)

But, if Trump is going ahead with a ‘determination’ now, he must be pretty close to completing the plan because the law requires Congressional hearings after ‘consultation’ and two weeks in advance of making a ‘final determination’.  As far as I know (or at least for the last 10 years) the law has not been followed and the President sends a ‘determination’ to the Hill literally with only days to spare before October 1.

See my report in 2015 when I learned that TWO DECADES ago, a House report cited former Democrat Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman (who was involved with the drafting of the original act) about the ‘determination’ process and how she argued that Congress must have a role.  You and I might not want the wimps in Congress involved, but frankly that is what the law says!

Here are some screenshots of the pertinent sections of law describing the process. In order to meet the time requirements presumably the Administration and Congress are well underway:

CONSULTATION with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees is required!


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‘Consultation’ with Congress is supposed to happen prior to the President sending a final ‘determination’! The substance of the ‘consultation’ is supposed to be (shall be!) PUBLISHED IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.

Jeff Sessions serious
In 2015, then Senator Jeff Sessions held the first hearing I had seen in nearly 10 years on the Refugee Act of 1980 and how it was being administered.

Have the Cabinet-level representatives of the Prez been up to the Hill?

If so, where is the report in the Congressional Record?

But, most importantly, reread the section above.  Before the President makes his final ‘determination’ a hearing “shall be held” in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees!


Where is the hearing? Has it been scheduled?

Up until 2 years ago, Congress did not hold hearings on the Act at all (too lazy, or too chicken?).  Senator Jeff Sessions held an oversight hearing here on October 2nd (one could not count it as a required hearing for ‘consultation’ since the fiscal year had already begun.)

Consultation defined….

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As I read this, the report to Congress must have already gone to the Hill in advance of the in person ‘consultation’.  Has it?  (Here is last year’s report if you haven’t seen one.)

Timeline (as I read it) described in original Refugee Act (possibly law was changed over the years?  Some Hill lawyer can correct me if it has!):

~Report to Congress (like this one) two weeks in advance of ‘consultation’ with House/Senate.

~In person discussion (‘consultation’) between House/Senate Judiciary Committees and Cabinet-level reps of the President.

~Results of ‘consultation’ reported in Congressional Record.

~Hearings to be held in the House and Senate “to review the proposed determination.”

~Final ‘determination’ made by President.

So, it is September 2nd, they all better get cracking if they expect to follow the law (for a change) and begin ‘welcoming’ a new batch of third worlders on October 1 (a mere 29 days from today).

By the way, I think the State Department has a report done (or nearly so) or else we wouldn’t have learned that Charleston, WV was not going to get its new resettlement office.

This post is filed in my ‘where to find information’ category, click here.