Hawaii judge thumbs nose at AG Sessions: yes, my order applies to refugee ceiling/moratorium
Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 20, 2017
You probably heard on the news over the weekend that the Department of Justice sought clarification from Obama’s friend, Judge Derrick Watson, in Hawaii and asked if he really meant to include a stop order on the President’s 120-day moratorium on refugee admissions and the FY17 ceiling reduction when he was aiming at the travel freeze.
The travel issue and the refugee admissions issue are two separate things. For the time being, take the so-called ‘travel ban’ from six countries out of your mind. It is not the main subject of this blog or what I want to try to make clear to readers (and the lazy, ignorant press).
The confusion comes from the fact that the first judge on the original order left the refugee admissions pause and ceiling portion of the EO intact and so did the Maryland judge last week.
It appears that Judge Derrick Watson believes he has the authority to set the ceiling for refugee admissions each year.
He emphatically does not have that authority. He can’t make the Dept. of State resume overseas processing of refugees. He can’t make the Administration and Congress spend money on refugees.
The President has the explicit power in the Refugee Act of 1980 to set the CEILING (as we said here). In most years the President (Bush and Obama) has been well under the CEILING!
As I have said recently, the big mistake the Trump team made was putting the refugee pause in to an Executive Order.
They have the power to slow the flow and stay under a proposed CEILING without an explicit order. The only thing I can see that they should have done (maybe they did it) was to notify the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that they were lowering the ceiling. However, the original act only gave Congress the power to ‘consult’ not stop the President. (In 1980, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter put a lot of power in the President’s hands when it comes to refugee admissions!)
If the controversy continues, more taxpaying Americans will be educated!
That said, there could be a silver lining. The Trump State Department can keep the flow low (or at zero) for months to come, and because the refugee ceiling is in Watson’s case (a case that surely will now work its way through the courts), the subject of the US Refugee Admissions Program will continue to be in the national news. Thus more and more Americans will be learning the facts about what they have been paying for since 1980!
(See my right hand sidebar where I will attempt to keep you updated every few days on refugee admission numbers for FY17.)
As for the contractors***, they would have been better off just shutting up and taking the 120-day (16 week) pause because 7 weeks have already passed since the original EO was announced on January 28th and they would be on their way through the slowdown.
Before you read the latest news about the Judge sticking by his original decision last week, see what refugee advocate and longtime expert Bill Frelick (Human Rights Watch) said in November after Trump was elected and the refugee industry went in to shell-shock:
“In the U.S., there’s not a quota that has to be filled. The U.S. has a budgeted amount of money to do refugee resettlement, but there’s no requirement that the U.S. resettle a single refugee, and there’s no legal obligation to do it.”
Here is one of many stories (this one at Fox News) this morning about Judge Watson telling the DOJ—no way, not changing a thing!
The federal judge in Hawaii who halted President Trump’s new, revised travel ban denied the administration’s request for him to limit the scope of his ruling Sunday so that the United States can immediately stop taking in refugees worldwide.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order on Trump’s order that prevents travelers from six mostly-Muslim countries entering the U.S. and suspends the United States’ worldwide refugee program.
Justice Department attorneys argued in a motion Friday that Watson’s temporary restraining order was essentially based on the argument that the ban appears to unconstitutionally target Muslims.
They questioned whether his ruling was limited to the part of Trump’s March 6 executive order that temporarily bans visas to travel from the six countries into the U.S., and not to the temporary refugee ban.
Watson responded Sunday by saying there was nothing unclear about the scope of his order and that the ruling remains unchanged.
As I said above, keep it up! The more public controversy surrounding the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program the better because then more American taxpayers will be educated!
For a laugh, don’t miss the news that Hawaii has taken only a tiny number of refugees for the last 14 years!
*** Here (below) are the nine major federal refugee contractors who now will see their budgets slashed (because they are largely funded by you, the taxpayer). They know this judge is on thin ice on the President’s power to determine the number of refugees being admitted to the US.
Are they hoping that Watson can bully his way through and singlehandedly re-write the Refugee Act of 1980 turning a ceiling in to a target/goal—something the refugee industry has wanted for a long time!
By the way, for new readers, you need to know that your local resettlement agency will be a subcontractor of one of the nine fake charities that monopolize the federal refugee contracting system listed here:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)
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