I’m going to try to be brief because faithful readers have heard this all before.
The President was going to be vilified if he had come in anywhere under the 75,000 the ‘humanitarian’ refugee industry was pushing for anyway. (See Pompeo announces 30,000 cap here yesterday.)
He should have, in my opinion, halted the entire program until it was completely reformed. *
Simply cutting the numbers for a few years will do NOTHING. If the basic flawed structure is left in place the big contractors will simply hold out until Trump is no longer in office. They have already said so!
Yes, one or two of the contractors might go belly-up with a paying client number of 30,000 or less to be divvied up by the present nine contractors, but the giants, like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the International Rescue Committee, will survive.
Why do political activists who want to see lower immigration numbers always play small-ball?
If the President said no refugees will be admitted until the program is reformed that would be the hammer to get the job done because those in Congress who want the cheap labor and those who want more Democrat voters would have been forced to cooperate with the White House.
Here are some of the reforms I want to see (assuming there is a demand for a refugee admissions program at all!):
~The present contracting system must go. For non-profit groups to be paid by the head for each refugee they place is an insane system that only encourages them to beg for more refugees each year whether our towns and cities are already in overload or not!
And, it sets up an advocacy (read political agitation) system potentially using taxpayer dollars to promote policies and candidates.
~States must have a larger role (the largest role!) in determining the number of refugees placed in their states since the federal government is at present burdening states by requiring state taxpayers to carry much of the load for refugee care (medical, schooling, housing, translation services, criminal justice and so forth).
In the present system the US State Department and the contractors sit down every week and determine which refugees will be your new neighbors without any input from state and local governments (LOL! Unless those governments have been determined to be friendly in advance!).
~The program must be reformed to promote transparency. Local citizens have a right to know who is coming to their towns. When President Trump first came in to office, his early executive orders on refugees actually mentioned that the Administration was going to visit refugee placement towns and cities to hear testimony and ascertain the impact the refugees are having in those locations. What happened to that idea?
In fact, right now, we can’t even find out which towns are targets. At least during the Obama years we could find which contractors and subcontractors were working in each location. That list maintained by the Refugee Processing Center is no longer available under the Trump Administration. Why?
Continuing on reforms that would promote transparency—for many prior years (although Obama cut this off toward the end of his Presidency) there were “scoping meetings” held by the US State Department in May or June of each year where people like me (us!) could at least voice our opinions about admissions for the coming fiscal year. They are no longer held even by Trump’s State Department.
~Citizens must be assured that the vetting process is as fool-proof as it could be and that additional steps are taken to eliminate fraud. By just reducing the numbers and not telling us—the public—about what measures are being taken to eliminate dangerous refugees and the ones committing fraud, we are still being left with great uncertainty and frankly fear!
~The United Nations should be removed from our decision-making process. We should pick our own refugees based on our own US interests and concerns. We don’t need the UN to tell us which people in the world need help.
~If big business is looking for cheap laborers, let’s have that debate. Stop talking about the refugee program as solely a humanitarian program. Have them come forward and identify themselves so citizens in communities, where the business is located, know who is coming to their towns and why.
~We must stop stretching refugee law by picking up illegal migrants from places like Malta, South Africa, Israel or Australia.
More as I think of them, but this is getting too long! Simply reducing the numbers for a few years does nothing to solve the problem going forward.
The window for serious reform is rapidly closing. Does the Trump team assume the House and Senate will remain in Republican hands and they will get it done next year? Big assumption!
Or, is this (reducing numbers for a few years) it?
If so, in 2021 or 2025 it will be business as usual for the refugee industry and we might as well go lay on a sunny beach somewhere with a cool drink in hand!
*To head off the complaints from even people on the immigration restriction side, there could have been provisions made for the admission of some extreme cases.