The stated reason to consider moving the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) to the independent USAID is to save money by bringing our admissions program and humanitarian foreign aid together under one roof.
I’m in no position to judge the wisest place to move it, but I am eager to see the little fiefdoms fall and cozy relationships broken between resettlement contractors and DOS bureaucrats.
And, I have long maintained that refugee admission decisions should not be used as part of our foreign policy wheeling and dealing!
As early as 2012 (when the State Department did formerly invite comment on the program), I gave 10 reasons for a moratorium and this is my number seven:
7) Congress needs to specifically disallow the use of the refugee program for other purposes of the US Government, especially using certain refugee populations to address unrelated foreign policy objectives—Uzbeks, Kosovars, Meshketians and Bhutanese (Nepalese) people come to mind.
If I were to write that today, I would be adding those Australian detainees we are magically transforming in to legitimate refugees for your American towns!
Either people are legitimate refugees deserving a shot at a better life and have no other options, or not. The program shouldn’t be used in any carrot/stick foreign policy wrangling.
But, that is exactly what a spokeswoman for the International Rescue Committee is arguing at Foreign Policy in a story entitled: