It is Official: President Caps Refugee Resettlement at 18,000 for this Year

Fiscal year 2020 began on October first, but President Trump only signed the final determination two days ago.

The primary reason given for the lower than normal number is that there exists a massive backlog of asylum claims for those who are already in the country and are insisting they are refugees too!

Suffice it to say the wailing in the refugee industry has begun! 

Their PR machines have been working overtime for 4 weeks in an attempt to get the President to change his mind on the 18,000 cap announced in the closing days of September.


Because refugees chosen by the UN and flown-in represent paying clients that keep the nine major contractors afloat.  Asylum seekers, may eventually seek the ‘services’ of the contractors, but there is no per head grant money coming with them (at least not yet!).

If the ‘humanitarians’ are looking for immigrants to love and help, there are plenty of asylum seekers they could help with their own private charitable donations, right—not to mention poor and vulnerable Americans!

The United Nations quickly put out a statement saying the UN High Commissioner for refugees is “troubled” by the final decision by the US government to admit ‘only’ 18,000 third world refugees over the next 11 months.

And, the first contractor out of the box, Church World Service, says this:

Inhumane Presidential Determination Banning Refugees is Signed

Historic low admissions goal will dismantle the life-saving refugee program and America’s legacy of welcome.

New York City–Last night President Trump signed his discriminatory and cruel Fiscal Year 2020 refugee admissions goal that will cap admissions at 18,000 and limit arrivals based on category and country of origin. The signing of the presidential determination will now end the unprecedented moratorium on refugee arrivals that has blocked refugees from arriving in the United States since October 1st of this year.

CWS President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough issued the following statement:

CWS CEO Reverend John McCullough getting arrested while protesting OBAMA deportations. He apparently likes to get arrested and most recently joined CAIR in cuffs on the US Capitol steps protesting TRUMP’s refugee slowdown.

“President Trump has ripped our country’s welcome mat out from under the most at-risk refugees in the world, people we have pledged to protect. The dire consequences of this refugee ban will last for years if not decades to come as the refugee resettlement program is dismantled and our nation’s legacy of compassion and welcome is finally snuffed out.

Families who have waited years to be reunited have little hope of ever being together again. Refugee communities within the U.S. will lose their support systems as the infrastructure in place to support them disappears.

“While we are thankful that some refugees who have had their cases put on hold while we awaited this policy to be signed will now be able to arrive, the number of people who will find protection is tragically low and simply unacceptable. Thousands of lives are at stake. People of faith across the nation implore Congress to step in and block the destruction of the life-saving refugee resettlement program, and restore it to historic norms before it is too late.”

Thanks to a reader for sending me the State Department’s press announcement yesterday!


President Trump signed the Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2020, following consultations with Congress conducted by the State Department, along with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services. Our Departments will work closely to implement the President’s program, which provides for the resettlement of up to 18,000 refugees in the United States this fiscal year.

America’s support for refugees and other displaced people extends well beyond our immigration system. It includes diplomatic efforts around the world to find solutions to crises, like our support for the legitimate government in Venezuela against Maduro’s tyranny. Addressing the core problems that drive refugees away from their homes helps more people more rapidly than resettling them in the United States.

Keep refugees close to home until they can return and rebuild their countries!

Our support for displaced people also takes the form humanitarian assistance, and in Fiscal Year 2019 the United States contributed nearly $9.3 billion to supporting crisis response globally, the largest contribution of any country in the world.Helping displaced people as close to their homes as possible better facilitates their eventual safe and voluntary return. Their efforts to rebuild their communities help restore affected areas to stability, which is always in America’s interest.


Indeed, the security and humanitarian crisis along our southern border has contributed to a burden on our immigration system that must be alleviated before we can again resettle large numbers of refugees. Therefore, prioritizing the cases of those already in our country is simply a matter of common sense.The diplomatic agreements the United States has reached with our Western Hemisphere neighbors to address illegal immigration and border security will allow us to refocus resources on reducing the current backlog of asylum cases that now encompasses more than an estimated one million individuals.

One thing that never made sense to me is the fact that supposedly the contractors are so worried about saving refugees and yet are at the border egging-on more economic migrants to come in illegally.

If your concern is truly for refugees and their well-being, it makes no sense that one would support importing competition for refugee admissions.  But it makes all the sense in the world if your goal is to change America by changing the people and that begins with hauling in more future Democrat voters.

Get the report!

One of the most useful documents available on the program each year is the report to Congress that accompanies the Presidential Determination.  For serious students of the US Refugee Admissions Program it is worth reading and saving.

Click here.

I admit I haven’t read it all yet, but will!  Here are a couple of charts that jumped out at me.  They support the President’s assertion that asylum claims are swamping the system (many will turn out to be illegitimate).

(For newbies, asylum seekers get here on their own and say they will be persecuted if returned to their home country. They go through one of two legal processes and if determined to have a legitimate claim to refugee status they are given all the welfare goodies and services that refugees flown-in receive.)

Incredible!  Look at the column on asylum grants!

And, then below see the charts on the backlog in the two systems available for migrants to claim asylum (to say they are refugees).  Many of these migrants came across our southern border, applied for asylum and disappeared!

Again, the report is here.

So what happened to considering the views of citizens when placing refugees?

I see no reference in either the statement from the White House on Friday or from Secretary Pompeo about local communities and state governments having any say in the placement of refugees as the President had announced on September 26th, see here.

Did they already give up that idea?

Nice sentiment, but flawed, here.

As October Ends, No New Refugees Admitted to the US

It is extremely rare for an entire month to pass with no refugee admissions and needless to say the refugee industry spokesmen are not happy.

No refugee arrivals means no per head payments for the contractors!

We reported earlier that two different dates were given for resumption of taxpayer-funded flights of refugees to arrive in the month of October.  CNN is now reporting that the first refugees of FY2020, which began on October first, might not get here until November 5th.

No refugees will be resettled in the US in October, leaving hundreds in limbo around the world

Washington (CNN)  The United States is on track to not admit any refugees in October, after already canceling around 500 flights this month, CNN has learned.

A pause on admissions that was expected to lift on Tuesday will now extend into November, leaving those who expected to resettle in the US in limbo. It also means additional travel will need to be canceled and re-booked at the expense of federal taxpayers.

That previous line gave me a chuckle—they are worried about taxpayer expenses!  Since when?  And, by not bringing any refugees in October taxpayers were spared at minimum a quarter of a million to a million dollars in just the cost of resettlement, let alone the initial cash handouts and social service (aka welfare) expenses the refugees incur upon arrival.

CNN continues….

Danielle Grigsby interim Director of the refugee industry’s DC lobbying office and PR firm, Refugee Council USA, told CNN that the delay was “unconscionable.”

The moratorium will run through November 5, according to a State Department spokesperson. “We will work with our implementing partners to plan for a resumption of refugee arrivals, including rescheduling travel for those affected by the extension,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

It’s the third time this month that the State Department has delayed refugee admissions. Travel for refugees who were told they could come to the US was postponed through October 21, and then later to October 28. There’s usually a pause in arrivals the first week of October.

The Trump administration has proposed capping the number of refugees allowed into the US at 18,000, a historic low. But in order for refugees to be admitted in the new fiscal year, President Donald Trump has to sign off on the refugee ceiling. The consistent delays in travel suggests Trump has not signed it yet.  

The latest travel delays come as the humanitarian crisis in Syria worsens.

More here.

Limbaugh on Trump and Middle East refugees!

I never got a chance to post it, but this seems like a good time.

Trump gave a speech on October 23rd about the US pulling back in Syria and here is what Rush Limbaugh said about Trump and his comments.

Right on!

He gave a mini-barn-burner here. He ripped into Obama. He ripped into previous presidents for a bunch of basic dishonesty in committing American troops around the world. He pointed out that the Middle East has become more unstable as more troops have been deployed. The wars have never ended.

And he made a great point, that as we have continued to send troops to these areas of the Middle East and as the chaos in these areas has ratcheted up, guess what else has happened at the same time? We have opened our borders to more refugees and more immigrants. And Trump says these days are over.

We’re not gonna go sponsor chaos and then say out of compassion, “Well, come here,” and open our borders. We’re not falling for this anymore.

This is exactly why Trump got elected.

He made it very clear what the game has been.The State Department, the permanent Washington establishment commits American troops to little skirmishes here and skirmishes there, and nobody ever wins because they never end. We recycle troops. We sell more ammunition and more weapons. The areas become war-torn and unlivable and the people that live there flee, and they go to Europe and some want to come here.

At the same time, we open our borders, we open our borders to more illegal immigrants, and we open our borders to more refugees, and he said these days are over, this is not gonna happen any longer in announcing this permanent ceasefire.

More here.

Will Trump stick with the 18,000?  Guess we will find out shortly.

Refugee Contractor/Community Organizer Tells Followers to Get to their Governor

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (aka HIAS), as if on cue, sent out an appeal this week to their followers to pressure their governors to support refugee resettlement via a letter to the President.

We just reported two days ago about how the Trump Executive Orderthat ostensibly provides for local input in the decision-making process of where to place refugees (decisions right now are made by the US State Department in conjunction with the nine federal refugee contractors), will do almost nothing and is already serving as another means for the contractors to bash Trump.

The governor of Pennsylvania, where HIAS is a lead resettlement agency, has already fired off his letter to the President.  No surprise that he says PA welcomes more refugees.  See where else HIAS has affiliates, here.

Building on that success, HIAS is now urging its followers to pressure other governors.

Here is what they say in an e-mail yesterday:

Dear friend,

Ask your Governor to to Stand Up for Refugees

On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order that, for the first time, allows states and municipalities to veto refugee resettlement in their communities. This order, the latest in a series of attempts to dismantle the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, is in effect a state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban.

Refugee resettlement is lucrative work. As Senior VP at HIAS, Nezer in 2018, according to HIAS Form990, had a compensation package that included $183,498 in salary and an additional $68,836 in related compensation. If this were a truly private organization, salaries would be none of our business, but as a quasi-government organization that received over $20 million from taxpayers that same year, it becomes our business.

Call your Governor now to urge them to continue welcoming refugees to your state.

If the Executive Order goes into effect, it could drastically reduce — or entirely stop — the resettlement of refugees in your community. We need the help of HIAS supporters in every state to make sure that refugees continue to be welcomed to our country.

While the administration is still working out how this order will be implemented, we expect that it will create chaos and confusion about where refugees can be resettled.

[Note how they are helping create chaos by urging governors, ahead of any formal process being put in place to support a continuous flow of paying refugee clients to American towns and cities.—ed]

Already a number of Governors have communicated that they will continue to support refugee resettlement in their states. We need to let all Governors know where the Jewish community stands on resettlement and work together to ensure our states publicly declare welcome for refugees.

Call your Governor now and ask them to take a stand by declaring their support for refugee resettlement in your state.

Thank you for taking action,

Melanie Nezer

Vice President,

Public Affairs

P.S. We recently started using a new system to make calling your elected official simple and effective. All you need to do is click the link in this email and pick up the phone!

The refugee industry is organized and well-funded.  I’ll have more to say about HIAS’s IRS Form 990s in a few days, but check out their system to make it even easier for their followers to quickly fire off a phone call to their governors.

Those of you concerned about your state and community (whether taxpayers can afford more impoverished people and the societal upheaval that comes with them) have no such system to make your voices heard on the issue of refugee resettlement and the unfairness of the whole placement system.  

Frankly, no major immigration-control group has made refugee resettlement a priority.

Trump’s Executive Order on Refugee Resettlement Won’t Stop Refugee Arrivals to Your State or Community

Editor’s note:  Concerned about growing assumptions that the recent Trump Executive Order will solve the problem of no local or state say about refugee admissions, a long-time observer of the program with legal expertise, David James, has explained for us that the EO does not do what it purports to do. 

Although grateful that the President has signaled his concern for a major flaw in the program, we must set the record straight.

For new readers, VOLAGs (short for Voluntary Agencies), is the refugee industry title by which the federal refugee contractors refer to themselves.

(Emphasis below is mine)

Decisions made by federal agencies and the VOLAGs (voluntary agencies) they pay, about where to place arriving refugees, along with secondary migration, have created Minneapolis’ “Little Mogadishu”, Nashville’s “Little Kurdistan” and Ft. Wayne’s “Little Burma” to name just a few of the refugee ethnocentric enclaves.

No executive order, including the President’s recent Executive Order on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement (EO) can stop refugee migration, either initial or secondary, from changing the demographics of your town and/or state.

While the EO suggests that the federal government will not resettle refugees in communities unless both the state and local governments consent, that may not be what happens at the end of the day.

Putting secondary migration aside, Section 2(b) of the EO specifically preserves the authority of the three agencies which administer the refugee resettlement program (State, HHS and DHS), to override any non-consent to refugee placement by either the state and/or local government.

With the exception of the lowered cap of 18,000, the EO is more a restatement of consultation requirements with state and local governments which are already in statute and regulation. Not only is the concept of “consultation” nowhere defined, but the outcomes of any consultation are not binding on federal agency decisions on refugee placement. And the EO doesn’t make any non-consent binding either.

The U.S. Code sections referenced in the EO mean that non-consent for resettlement won’t stop family reunification or the participation by the VOLAG federal contractors in deciding where refugees are placed.

VOLAGs whose operations are almost wholly dependent on the flow of federal dollars, are paid for each refugee they resettle. As noted in a 2012 GAO report, local VOLAG “affiliate funding is based on the number of refugees they serve, so affiliates have an incentive to maintain or increase the number of refugees they resettle each year rather than allowing the number to decrease.”

Last fiscal year when the refugee admission cap was lowered to 30,000, the State Department managed to fund all nine national resettlement contractors. Admittedly, the lowered ceiling of 18,000 for FY20 may prove challenging for some in the resettlement contractor industry to remain viable.

However, as Ann Corcoran reminds us, the refugee cap has not included other categories of entrants such as the Special Immigrant Visa holders from Iraq and Afghanistan who receive the same access to public benefits, such as state Medicaid programs, as refugees. The same goes for any successful asylum petition.

And once on the ground, refugees can and do go anywhere they want, nullifying any state and local non-consent per the EO.

Seeing one more opportunity (the announcement of the EO) to take a whack at the President, PA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) says Pennsylvania welcomes refugees. Was there any consultation?  Did concerned citizens of PA get to weigh-in before the Governor shot off a letter? NO!  PA borders West Virginia (a state that gets few refugees). Anything to stop refugees from arriving in PA and immediately moving to WV? NO!

Governors in Oregon and Pennsylvania have already issued consent to receive refugees and New Jersey’s governor has announced the state’s intention to get back into the resettlement program.

While some refugee arrivals may stay put at their initial resettlement site, for others, consenting states will be nothing more than ports of entry for movement to non-consenting states and local communities.

The EO does not directly address the status of states which previously withdrew from the  resettlement program for purposes of non-consent. It’s possible that this question will be answered by the “process” to be developed by the State Department and HHS as required by the EO.

States like Tennessee which withdrew from the refugee program over 10 years ago, have since had their state refugee program administered by an ORR (U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement) selected NGO which just happens to have its own federally contracted refugee resettlement program.

When the Refugee Act was passed in 1980, Congress authorized reimbursing states 100% for three full years of the state cost of providing Medicaid for each refugee brought to a state by a federal contractor. Sen. Ted Kennedy, the chief sponsor of the Refugee Act was pushing for four years of refugee support as opposed to the House proposed two years of support:

“[i]n my judgment, it is essential that we continue to receive the full support of State governments for our refugee programs; I believe that we would jeopardize that support and cooperation if we were to transfer the resettlement burden to the States after the refugees have been in this country for only 2 short years.”

The House and Senate subsequently agreed to three years of reimbursement to states.

Feds shift cost to the states

Five years into the program, due to cuts in federal spending for refugee assistance, ORR began to reduce the three years of authorized reimbursement to states and by 1991, eliminated it altogether. Three years later in 1994, the federal regulation permitting a state to withdraw from the program and be replaced by an ORR state replacement designee, was added.

Beginning in 1990, various federal reports have admitted to shifting costs associated with the refugee program to state and local governments. State governments continue to incur these costs, even after withdrawing from the federal refugee program because federal contractors are enabled by ORR to continue initial resettlement in these states.

It remains to be seen whether these ORR designated state replacements which operate independently of the state government, will also have authority to consent for the state per the consent process required by the EO.

Tennessee has sued the federal government because of its Constitutionally impermissible taking of state funds for the federal refugee program by virtue of the cost shifting. The admissions to shifting federal program costs to states stand in stark contrast to the claims of the federally funded and financially dependent contractors that the program is “100% paid for by the federal government.”

President Trump’s EO fails to address the multiple layers of dysfunction in the resettlement program and Constitutionally suspect policies. Nor is there any reason to think that Congress will find its way to straightening out the mess they helped to create and continue to foster.


Endnote: It is vitally important that you send this detailed analysis to everyone you know.  We can support this President while at the same time pointing out where he might be going wrong on an issue that many of us believe is paramount to putting America First!

Mark Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies addressed many of our concerns about the EO in his piece at National Review yesterday, see it here.

Sixteen Republican Representatives Tell President they Want More than 18,000 Refugees

The letter to the President was spearheaded by Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga and was clearly written with the aid of refugee industry lobbyists*** because it contains the language I see everywhere coming out of places like the Refugee Council USA and the federal resettlement contractors who depend on federal dollars for their supposed charitable work.

Republican Rep Bill Huizenga’s letter is boilerplate refugee industry lingo!

Claiming they fear we aren’t protecting enough people experiencing religious persecution they list wholly Muslim countries like Somalia and Afghanistan whose nationals they say we must admit.

But, there is not one word about persecuted Christians, which might have made their appeal to the President understandable at least.

Any day now the President will decide if the number for FY2020 will be 18,000, see here.

Below is Huizenga’s press release and the letter in its entirety.

Is your Republican member of Congress pressing the President for MORE third worlders for your Congressional District?

Huizenga: The Trump Administration Should Reconsider its Position on Refugee Resettlement

On Friday, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) sent a letter, with 16 of his Republican colleagues, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the need for the United States to continue to open its doors to refugees displaced by conflict and facing religious persecution. The letter is in response to the Trump Administration recently announcing its plan to reduce the number of refugees admitted to the United States to a record-low level of 18,000 people.

“America cannot lead from behind on the issue of religious persecution and refugee resettlement,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “West Michigan has a long standing tradition of opening its doors to those facing persecution as well as welcoming individuals who have been displaced because of armed conflict. Whether it is our faith-based institutions, non-profit organizations, or individuals within the community, West Michigan continues to set an example Washington could learn from. The Trump Administration should reconsider its position.”

The letter is available below.

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

Since our nation’s founding, the United States has served as a beacon of hope to those suffering from oppression and conflict across the globe. The Statute of Liberty perfectly encapsulates our outstretched hand, accepting the world’s huddled masses who yearn to be free. As the world continues to face an overwhelming refugee crisis, we respectfully urge you to uphold our nation’s commitment to assist individuals who have been displaced by violence and strife.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are approximately 20 million refugees worldwide with more than 50 percent being children. Among those, roughly eight million refugees are from Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Additionally, another 37,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict and persecution in their home countries.

Continued U.S. leadership is critical in addressing ongoing humanitarian crises caused by civil war and persecution and in assisting displaced persons. One area where America can lead is by creating and protecting de-escalation zones near war-torn countries and providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. We must also continue to accept and care for refugees here in America.

In our communities throughout the country, there is a long history of opening doors to assist refugees. Local leaders, faith groups, and businesses have come together to create an environment where refugees are welcomed and receive the services necessary to learn English, find employment, and become part of the fabric of their new communities.

As such, we urge you to maintain the United States’ longstanding commitment to assist refugees with a special focus on assisting individuals hailing from nations facing the worst conditions possible. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Representatives who signed the letter led by Ken Buck (CO) include: Fred Upton (MI), Susan W. Brooks (IN), John Curtis (UT), Scott Tipton (CO), Doug Lamborn (CO), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Steve Stivers (OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), John Katko (NY), Dan Newhouse (WA), Rob Woodall (GA), Chris Stewart (UT), and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL).

In July, Congressman Huizenga spoke out against eliminating the refugee resettlement program when reports circulated that the Trump Administration was considering such a proposal.

If you live in the district of one of those members and disagree with their pressuring the President, you need to let your representative know.

When they sign letters like this they assume it is a freebie for them.  They will get brownie points from Open Borders Inc. and suffer no down side.

It is your job to be sure they know there is a downside.  You could write a letter to your local paper critical of their stance on refugees.  Be sure to attend town halls when they are home campaigning so you can ask them in public to defend their position on refugees.

Maybe ask them why you, the taxpayers, are paying for it all but have no say in where they will be placed, and most importantly ask why we aren’t taking care of our own vulnerable Americans first!

*** A final comment on the subject of lobbyists.  The refugee industry has lobbyists galore.  Not just the Refugee Council USA but every one of the nine contractors has either formal lobbyists (Catholic Bishops and Lutherans for example) and informal lobbyists who help identify soft touches on the refugee program.

Some one, or several, draft a letter like this, and it is the lobbyist working with their principle author, in this case Huzienga staffers, who run around Capitol Hill with the draft letter to get co-signers.  It might require reaching back to the district to get some influential church group, interfaith group, Chamber of Commerce types who then also call the member to encourage their support for the letter.

Those of us who want to see the US Refugee Admissions program slowed, reformed or dumped outright have no lobbyist on the Hill!