Rumors were rampant that President Donald Trump would announce on Friday the Presidential “determination” on how many refugees could be admitted (it is a CEILING number) to the US beginning on October 1 (for FY18). Nothing happened.
Just looking around this morning I see that mid-week last week Senators Dick Durban and Dianne Feinstein (founding members of the ‘Jihad caucus’ who wanted 65,000 Syrians in addition to the usual 60-70,000 from other regions in Obama’s final full year), sent a letter to Trump asking him when this years’ ‘consultation’ could be expected.
The House and Senate, for the last 10 years (the years I have followed the program), could not have cared less about what the law said were the steps required in the consultation and Presidential determination (I outlined those steps here recently).
LOL! But all that changes now that Trump occupies the White House.
It is maddening to know something about an issue and see the complete disdain by elected officials for the laws they themselves wrote!
So here is the Reuters story about Dick and Dianne getting all uppity about something (the legal process) they didn’t care about during Obama’s years.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two high-ranking Democrats in the U.S. Senate asked the Trump administration on Wednesday to provide information on any plans to cut refugee admissions to historically low levels, saying Congress had not yet been consulted as required by law.
“To date, we have not received a proposed refugee admissions plan for fiscal year 2018 or received any cooperation from your agencies in scheduling the refugee consultation,” Senator Richard Durbin and Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote in a letter seen by Reuters.
The letter was sent on Wednesday to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
“We request that the proposed refugee admissions report be transmitted to Congress promptly and that we immediately begin the process of scheduling the consultation,” the letter said.
By law, the president is required to consult with members of Congress about the number of refugee admissions before the start of each fiscal year, which is Oct. 1.
Gee, for once we see a mainstream media outlet give some information on the ceiling vs. actual admissions numbers:
Since the U.S. Refugee Act was signed in 1980, the ceiling has never been set below 67,000 and in recent years has hovered around 70,000 to 80,000. The number of refugees actually admitted to the country can fall below the cap, and dropped to its lowest level in the fiscal year after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks with only around 27,000 admitted. [No one went bonkers on Bush—ed]
Pay attention to the RAISE Act.
The proposed RAISE Act, which the White House has endorsed, calls for lower immigration overall and a statutory limit on the number of refugees offered permanent residency to no more than 50,000.
Reports that the 2018 cap might be set below 50,000 raised alarm bells for Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
More here if you want to read it.
Final thought: Trump goes to the UN this week. The federal refugee contractors have been yammering for 75,000 refugees for FY18. Any number less than that announced this week will surely bring out screaming protesters and media hysteria. IMHO Trump should have announced numbers weeks ago (assuming they will be low!).
As you know, in light of American homelessness from Harvey and Irma, we have been advocating for a suspension of the program or at least a many-months delay in making a Presidential Determination.