And, if the New York Times is right, a 50,000 cap for this fiscal year doesn’t cut numbers enough in my view!
Both Fox News and CNN are reporting this morning that today’s executive orders will deal with The Wall and other ways of beefing up immigration control. They report, contradicting what Reuters said last evening, that refugees will be later in the week. It is probably best to just wait and see rather than speculate.
But, I believe he can’t wait much longer because as we speak the US State Department has been bringing them in at an unprecedented rate since Inauguration day.
With no Secretary of State or any deputies, the bureaucrats are scrambling, and word is coming back from resettlement contractors that they have geared up for a massive flow to the established resettlement sites (see those sites here). Trump must act this week!
Wrapsnet is back!
Yesterday I reported that the US State Department’s database where refugee entries to the US are logged by date of arrival, nationality, religion etc. had been down Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday making it impossible to find out how many refugees were coming in since Inauguration Day.
(See my introductory post to this watch, here.)
This is what we know. On the morning of Inauguration Day, January 20th, we had admitted 29,895 refugees since the first day of the 2017 FISCAL year (October 1, 2016). (This fiscal year runs from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017). 29,895 is itself an extraordinarily high number, a rate not seen since before 9/11.
This morning, January 25th, Wrapsnet reports that we have now admitted 30,885. That means of course that since Inauguration day, 990 refugees have been placed in your towns and cities.
As of today, and for this fiscal year we have admitted the following from some countries of concern:
Afghans: 810 (up 62 from Inauguration day)
Iraqis: 4,733 (up 173)
Somalis: 3,894 (up 88)
Syrians: 4,754 (up 166)
This is new!
The New York Times reported yesterday that President Trump is talking about capping the number of refugees for this year at 50,000.
Before I get to that, for new readers, under the Refugee Act of 1980, the President (each year) sends a determination letter to Congress in September, in advance of the new fiscal year. In it, the President tells Congress how many refugees he wishes to admit and from what regions of the world they will come for the upcoming fiscal year.
Congress’s only role is that of consultant and for at least the first 8 years I’ve been writing about the refugee program, Congress did nothing. In 2015 and 2016 Senator Jeff Sessions’ Immigration Subcommittee held rigorous hearings, but without passing legislation there isn’t much they can do. Bottomline, the Prez has the power.
Now here is what the New York Times is reporting, thanks to reader Theodore for sending it.
Mr. Trump’s refugee directive is expected to target a program the Obama administration expanded last year in response to a global refugee crisis, fueled in large part by a large flow of Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war. Mr. Obama increased the overall number of refugees to be resettled in the United States to 85,000 and ordered that 10,000 of the slots be reserved for Syrians. He set the number of refugees to be resettled this year at 110,000, more than double the 50,000 Mr. Trump is now considering.
By the end of last month, more than 25,000 refugees had been resettled, according to State Department figures, meaning the plan Mr. Trump is considering would admit only 25,000 more by the end of September. [Yes, the NYT is using the fiscal year numbers—ed]
We reported above that as of today, the DOS has admitted 30,885 refugees.
Is Donald Trump really considering capping the number at 50,000 for FY2017?
If so, that is not cutting the numbers greatly in my view. Yes, compared to Obama’s wished-for 110,000 it seems substantial, but examine the chart below and see that it is not out of the ordinary and definitely is more than we admitted in 2002 and 2003 (in the wake of 9/11).
In FY02 we admitted 45,850 and in FY03 it was 39,177 (see my research here).
When you look at this chart from Wrapsnet, in addition to looking at total refugee admissions, add up the months of Oct, Nov, Dec and Jan and you will see that the numbers admitted in this fiscal year far surpass any year on this chart. (By the way, the column for “ceiling” is what the President proposed in his September determination letter.)
I sent a message to the White House, here, yesterday. Have you?
And, LOL! now that I have spent 2 hours writing this, I’ll find out that the news has changed again!