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WSJ explains (sort of) what that March 3rd date means for slowing US refugee admissions

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 18, 2017

We reported on the “official” notification involving March 3rd, here and here and wondered what the significance of that date might be. It is this notification that caused the refugee resettlement contractors to go into a tailspin about their federal funding.

Thanks to Joanne for spotting this article in the Wall Street Journal that clarifies it (somewhat):

The State Department ordered its embassies abroad to delay booking travel for refugees resettling in the U.S. after March 3.

And below are some snips from the story by reporter Maria Abi-Habib (emphasis is mine):

The U.S. State Department has ordered embassies to slow resettlement of refugees for the next few weeks and delay booking travel for refugees after March 3 as the numbers approach the annual cap of 50,000 set recently by President Donald Trump, according to American officials.


Hopefully there will be more clarity early next week from Secretary of State Tillerson and the White House. BTW, sure hope they will pick someone who knows the program to be Asst. Sec. of State for PRM or else the careers will roll them!

What doesn’t make sense to me is that unless they bring them in at 1,000 a day they aren’t going to be near 50,000 by March 3rd.

WSJ continues….

U.S. officials from embassies in the Middle East said they received a directive Tuesday from the State Department’s Population, Refugee and Migration bureau to delay booking travel to the U.S. for refugees awaiting final resettlement after March 3. The directive said the numbers of refugees already admitted is close to Mr. Trump’s cap for 2017. [Not really, we are at almost 36,205 as of this morning. We added 371 since yesterday!—ed]


The same order also cut the annual limit for refugees for the year ending October 2017 to less than half of the previous administration’s 110,000 ceiling. [This is so annoying, this was Obama’s dreamland number, we have not been near that number for more than 15 years.—ed]


But the court ruling didn’t affect the 50,000 limit on refugees set out in the order, a State Department spokeswoman said. State Department officials said the refugee cap imposed by Mr. Trump is legal and isn’t being challenged as the constitution allows the president to set admissions numbers for refugees each year.

“In support of the president’s executive order, the department is preparing to reduce the number of weekly refugee arrivals such that we will admit no more than 50,000 refugees by the end of the fiscal year,” the spokeswoman said.

Some 35,000 refugees have already been admitted for the government’s 2017 fiscal year that ends in October, according to State Department figures. That leaves 15,000 slots open for the next 7-½ months. [Not 15,000 now, but 13,795 as of this morning.—ed]


“There were a lot of people stranded with the first executive order who were up for resettlement,” but their paperwork has now been delayed, said a U.S. embassy employee in the Middle East. The official added that the State Department directive told embassies not to arrange flights beyond March 3 for refugees until the State Department can determine which applicants will be given the remaining resettlement slots.

“For those that don’t make the 15,000 cut, they are out of luck until the next fiscal year,” he said.

Continue reading here.

Readers, the next fiscal year begins on October 1, 2017 and in September the Trump Administration will be sending its “determination” to Congress for “consultation.” The determination letter and report will set a ceiling for the upcoming year and designate how many and from which regions of the world we will take refugees. The 2018 fiscal year is 7 months and 10 days away.

They can’t possibly get that 13,795 in by March 3rd, so it looks like they will have to sort through many more than 13,795 and dribble them in over the remaining months.  However,Trump’s original order called for a complete 120-day moratorium (4 months) and one presumes that is legal and still a possibility when he comes out with a new EO on Monday or Tuesday (or at least that is what is being reported—a new EO early in the week).

I wish I had more information for you. If something leaks out over the weekend, I’ll let you know (or you let me know!), otherwise, we will wait and see!

There is nothing set in concrete about that 50,000 number!

The President can reset it again! at say 37,000, or how about 39,554?  That is the number George W. Bush admitted in 2003 as the Administration feared Islamic terrorists might be in the stream arriving in the wake of 9/11.

Go here and see why it is important for you to let Donald Trump know what you think!

This post is filed in my Trump Watch! category, here.

5 Responses to “WSJ explains (sort of) what that March 3rd date means for slowing US refugee admissions”

  1. Ann- I don’t know if you saw this article today in Brietbart about the Obama holdovers that can be fired immediately, but it is most informative.

    The main premise is that “Any bureaucrat who has served at either agency for any period of time has been utterly compromised by the refugee industry lobby and has to go in a Trump administration.”

    I’m sure you know all the usual suspects that are mentioned. Maybe you even had something to do with the article- who knows? Anyway, here’s the link:


  2. icthelite said

    Wasn’t the US State Department suggesting that embassies slow down the processing? There was no official order given. True there is probably no way the 50K number could be reached by3/3 but it would be wise for them not to overflow their process else they would have to turn them away


  3. Dear VP Pence
    We must stop and defund the Refugee Resettlement Program and lower the 50,000 to 36,000 and order the GAO to audit this heinously expensive Jimmy Carter misguided program which brings in huge welfare taxpayer payments and refugees who HATE and wish to KILL Americans.
    I remember The Somilia pirates, I remember OUR soldiers burned and hanged by somolians I remember September 11th 2001. Death of Americans on our soil from Muslims from these terrorists countries!
    Our blood on the hands of Jihad Senators Kaine and McCain!
    We need to hire ex-prison inmates – Americans – for jobs which companies like Chobani Yogurt & meatpacking industry needs. But NOT more Muslims!
    At least – at least – bring in Christians.
    Reinstate charity sponsorship NOT our tax funds for these
    Pseudo charities who pay themselves $350,000 – $500,000 in annual salaries. I find this appalling!
    It was Muhammed the savage founder of Islam who said on his deathbed to Rid the Arabian peninsula of all Jews and Christians!
    Imagine these people here killing us and forcing bit by bit compliance with sharia law.
    I am a Vietnam era USAF veteran, as was my late husband who served 20 years in the Navy.
    I worked as a federal auditor for Transportation OIG – Army Audit Agency and Naval Audit Service. I know what good auditing does to show the federal leaders and taxpayers the corruption of grants and huge salaries paid on our tax money.
    This Refugee Resettlement Program must Stop!
    No more big Tax payments to these people who with to put Americans out of work!
    I voted for the Republican Party – I voted and fully support Mr Trump and sent many donations to him- directly when he asked for our support.
    I will not vote Democrat for many many years to come and will work to push the agenda of Mr Trump!
    My parents and grandparents supported the Democratic Party as Party of the working people. No more.
    No more Clinton Foundation payola. This must be audited also.
    Let’s put Americans First!
    Stop Illegals, Stop Refugees, stop H1B, stop VISa lottery, stop Migration and support Zero population Growth in cesspool their
    World countries – especially Muslim countries who , allow 4 wives and 30 children.
    No more!
    Thank you sir
    God Bless you all
    Patrica Spayd

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on islamnewworldorder and commented:
    There is just ONE reason for this mass invasion by muslim “refugees” votes for the Party of TREASON (democrats.)
    It needs to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

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