Later this month leading refugee advocates/Dems will attend a two-day confab in Boise, Idaho in hopes of generating support for illegal alien amnesty (the DACA kids) and to push for more refugees for Idaho and other states they are working to transform (turning red states blue!).
Here is the announcement published at Boise Weekly from the Frank Church Institute(emphasis is mine) Hat tip: Joanne:
The Trump administration recently unveiled yet another travel ban restricting certain individuals from mainly Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. In a time where the refugee migration worldwide has reached near World War II levels, these bans have proved to be highly controversial and have sparked much debate across the country. The Frank Church Institute plans to continue the debate at the 34th annual Frank Church Conference—Monday, Oct. 23 and Tuesday, Oct. 24—with a focus on current global concerns over refugee displacement and immigration.
“[It’s a] timely issue with the new administration’s policies on immigration and DACA, and the public’s questions about the role of refugees both nationally and in the State of Idaho,” said Frank Church Institute Director Garry Wenske.
The theme of the conference at the Simplot Ballroom of the Student Union Building at Boise State University, is “America’s Future: Refugees, Migration and National Security.”Speakers will include former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Anne C. Richard, and International Rescue Committee Senior Vice President Jennifer Sime, as well as Jacob Sullivan, who served as national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and deputy chief of staff for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [You will recognize Sullivan as a bigwig from the Clinton campaign.—ed]
There will also be speakers from local organizations like the International Refugee [Rescue!–ed] Committee and ACLU-Idaho, as well as a panel of experts and refugees, including Refik Sadikovic, a Bosnian refugee who resettled in Boise and is now working toward his Ph. D. at Boise State University. [Token success story is part of their MO!—-ed]
Idaho, especially the southern half of the state, has a long and significant history of accepting displaced people. According to a Pew study, Idaho accepts among the most refugees per capita of any state in the country. The Idaho role in resettlement, however, has been controversial. The College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center was criticized for its role in bringing refugees into Idaho amid fears of an influx of Syrians and fake news surrounding a crime connected with refugees in Twin Falls brought the issue to a boil.
Citizens wishing to get a “better understanding” of what is in the works for Idaho and the country should attend (and take notes)!
Wenske said he expects to fill the ballroom, and hopes the audience can walk away with a “better understanding of some of the issues that we’re facing as a country, as a state, and as a city.”
“Boise is a welcoming city for refugees,” he said. “These are important issues we need to discuss.”
The first story I read this morning has got my blood boiling! Not because it is one more blast at Trump, or at Stephen Miller (he can take care of himself).
And, although I have now learned more about the secretive process thanks to the leakers (the blabbermouths!), what has me steamed is that the Trump Administration clearly still has many people throughout government (the State Department!) and in the White House who are not loyal to him and are so willing to dish the dirt on his Presidency.
Whose fault is that?
It is Trump’s fault for not placing enough of his own people in leadership slots—people who would be loyal and keep the bureacrats in check.
Indeed the US Refugee Admissions Program in the State Department is still being run by career bureaucrats who saw Obama’s fantasy 110,000 refugee ceiling last year as the holy grail!
For new readers, know that I have maintained that there is nothing heroic about this 45,000 (split the baby) ceiling.
Trump had the perfect opportunity to suspend the program entirely, to put off setting the ceiling. He could have done it for 6 months and told Congress to investigate the entire program with an eye to reforming it or setting up an entirely new system to admit only the most desperate people. (There is likely zero chance any reform will be initiated in election year 2018!)
So, as you read through New Yorker reporter Jonathan Blitzer‘s story, meant to paint Stephen Miller as the boogeyman (written thanks to so many blabbermouths), know that I believe Trump flubbed this one and took an easy way out.
(You should read the whole thing. I couldn’t snip it all! So, I picked out what interested me most and the emphasis below is mine.)
Late last month, the White House announced that next year’s cap would be forty-five thousand, a record low. The State Department, the Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Vice-President, and the Office of Management and Budget had wanted the number to be higher.
But they had all been forced to compete with one influential White House official: Stephen Miller, the thirty-two-year-old former aide to Jeff Sessions who has become Trump’s top immigration adviser.
I recently spoke to four Administration officials [come on chickens, who are you? put your names out there!—ed] involved in the refugee-cap process to try to understand how Miller was able to outmaneuver an array of powerful factions in the federal bureaucracy. Each official described Miller as a savvy operator who understands how to insert himself into the policy-creation process. They also described him as the beneficiary of a dysfunctional and understaffed Administration. Miller hadn’t completely gotten his way on the refugee cap, they told me; he wanted it to be lower. The forty-five-thousand figure—which past Administrations would have considered impractically low—amounted to a kind of compromise.
Miller, who has gone from the political fringe to the White House on the strength of his reputation as an anti-immigration ideas man, joined the Trump campaign early.
So the process begins in June. We will remember that for next year!
The chain of events that led to the announcement of the new refugee cap began on June 5th, when Miller met with officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, and a policy group called the Homeland Security Council. Every summer, the State Department and the N.S.C. lead a series of discussions to decide the next year’s cap. Officials weigh dozens of different considerations, solicit input from the various stakeholder agencies, and ultimately bring a number to the President for his approval. [Could the stakeholder agencies be the federal contractors?—ed]
Miller introduced the officials to Gene Hamilton, another former aide to Sessions, whom the Administration had installed at D.H.S. This year, Miller and Hamilton explained, D.H.S.—not the State Department—would present the refugee-cap number to the President.Hamilton would be Miller’s key ally in the process. “They were in direct and constant contact,” the second White House official told me. “If there was ever a question you had for Hamilton, he’d say, ‘Hold on,’ and call Miller.” According to the first White House official, “It was clear that there was some precooked plan here.”
On this issue of asylum (in the next snip)…
….know that there are an estimated 270,000 asylum seekers presently in the country waiting for their day before a judge to make a pitch for asylum. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, once granted asylum, they are REFUGEES in every sense of the word and are on track to citizenship. The only difference is that they were not screened abroad at all and did not have their airfare to the US paidby the US taxpayer. So, Miller is making a very important point on numbers.
When officials pushed back against these kinds of changes, Miller would point to the backlog of asylum cases at D.H.S. and argue that the refugee program was unsustainable. All four officials believed this argument was disingenuous. “This was a manipulation to get the result he wanted,” one White House official told me. “He basically just had a political agenda: to limit the number of foreign nationals who come into our country.”
This next bit made me laugh!The bureaucrats who basically run the State Department were angry that Miller knows how the “sausage” is made in Washington!
You can bet the biggest blabbermouths Blitzer talked to came from the branch of the State Department called ‘Population, Refugees and Migration.’
I asked the officials how Miller, with his limited experience in the executive branch, had become such a formidable bureaucrat so quickly. “Look at who the senior advisers to the President were and are—Bannon, Kushner—Miller’s the only one with prior government experience,”the State Department official told me. “He knows something about government, and it turns out to be useful. He saw how the sausage was made. And he’s smart enough to make his own sausage.”The chaos of the Trump Administration helped. “The White House remains in utter disarray,” the official said. “If you don’t have an established set of procedures in place, it’s very easy to create your own process.”
In early September, officials at the State Department and N.S.C. were told that the Department of Homeland Security was ready to propose to the President that next year’s refugee cap be between fifteen thousand and twenty-six thousand people.
OPTICS! OPTICS! WHAT THE HELL! TO SATISFY SOME FOREIGN POLICY OPTICS! WHAT ABOUT AMERICAN COMMUNITIES SADDLED WITH THE COSTS AND THE CULTURAL UPHEAVAL?
Officials at the other government agencies involved in the process balked. “If we go below fifty thousand, we won’t satisfy the optics that the program was designed to generate, and that functionally hurts national security,” one White House official told me. “We look scared.” Miller and Hamilton weren’t swayed by the arguments, but when Elaine Duke, the interim Secretary of Homeland Security and Hamilton’s boss, insisted that the number couldn’t be lower than forty thousand, they were forced to retreat. (The White House disputed this account.)
Putting up a modest resistance, the State Department proposed a cap of fifty thousand. “People felt beleaguered and betrayed,” the official there told me.
“By the time we talked about splitting the difference, we were already two-thirds lower than where we were previously,” the State Department official told me. “We’d gone from a hundred and ten thousand”—which President Obama had set for the current year—“to around forty thousand, with no evidence to support the decision. It was purely political. The process has never been this corrupt.”
In mid-September, Tillerson lowered the State Department’s desired number from fifty thousand to forty-five thousand. The State Department official said the Secretary’s staff was surprised. “He undercut his deputy,” the official said. “He undercut the recommendation of the staff. He broke with every other federal agency except D.H.S.” The other agencies had all previously said they would back the State Department, so forty-five thousand was the only number that went to the President.
“The President would never know that almost all of his Cabinet wanted a higher number,” one of the White House officials told me.