Dept. of State coordinating with its refugee contractors to try to keep refugees coming for two more weeks
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 5, 2017
That is the time frame they estimate they have before the latest legal wrangles are resolved.
So look for another big rush of refugees in the coming days.
And, if they don’t materialize, contractors will have to start reducing their federally-funded staffs.
Washington (CNN) For the second weekend in a row, nonprofits tasked with welcoming refugees to the United States are reacting to a sudden, major shift in the policies that govern their work.
A week ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending resettlement for 120 days and initiating a review of the vetting procedures used to approve applicants to come to the United States.
Then Friday, a more welcome surprise for refugee groups: A federal judge in Washington reversed several key provisions of the executive order, paving the way some refugees to enter the country.
US Together is the Ohio subcontractor for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
I feel like our whole world has been turned upside-down,” Danielle Drake, community relations manager at the Cleveland*** nonprofit US Together, told CNN Saturday.
“The executive order came in so quickly, no one was prepared for it,” she said. “We had zero notice.”
Why can’t leftwing media like CNN be completely honest about this funding and explain how contractors are paid by the head out of the federal treasury to do their ‘work.’ As subcontractors of the big nine contractors, groups like US Together are almost exclusively funded by taxpayer dollars!
I am sure that the average American reading this has no understanding that they are talking about mom and pop taxpayer paying for all of this.
Funding for resettlement groups is also in question as the administration and the courts each consider the future of the US refugee program.
If the administration is given the go-ahead to move forward with its four-month suspension, Drake estimates US Together will have to lay off at least half its staff.
“One of the other very difficult aspects of the executive order was the financial implications faced by the local resettlement offices,” Sarah Krause, a senior director for the national resettlement agency Church World Service, told CNN. [See my funding analysis of CWS, here.—ed]
Busy, busy bureaucrats!
The State Department has been coordinating with CWS and other agencies to provide guidance on what Friday’s court ruling means for them in practical terms.
As of Saturday afternoon, CWS had been advised that flights were expected to resume early next week and continue for at least the next two weeks.
The cap of 50,000 refugees for this fiscal year remains in effect. See here where we explained why this was still too high! Bush had 4 years under 50,000, so this does not represent any big slowdown! Even 50,000 is going to cost taxpayers several billion dollars!
But for refugees still awaiting approval to go to the United States, the uncertainty created by the executive order and subsequent legal challenges has left them in limbo.
That’s due, in part, to a provision of the Trump administration’s order that was not overturned in Friday’s court ruling — a provision capping total refugee admissions at 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, which ends October 1.
More than 30,000 refugees had already been admitted to the US before the new policy went into effect, according to State Department data, leaving just under 20,000 spots open.
Church World Service and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society are organizing demonstrations against Trump. There should be a federal law prohibiting federal contractors from such overtly political activities.
*** Interested readers might want to visit my 2013 post about when ‘Welcoming America’ came to Cleveland to push for changing the city by seeding it with more third worlders.
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