He says it has nothing to do with the fact that under the Donald Trump Administration the number of refugees being admitted to the US has plummeted. (I checked yesterday and in the first 2 weeks of January only around 200 came in.)
For new readers, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration is normally a political appointment used by a new President to set a tone in the Department of State reflecting his (or her) political view on the controversial issue.
The job is a political appointment that requires Senate approval (both of Obama’s picks were approved).
However, here is the rub: Donald Trump has put no one forward for this position thus leaving it in the hands of State Department career professionals.
Perhaps he has a strategy behind that—-one less battle with Senate Dems, and Rs like Flake and Graham, and maybe it is easier to shrink the program without a leading figurehead. I don’t know the answer.
Anyway here is the latest news at a pro-more-refugees website.
LOL! My first thought when I saw this was: okay where is Hans and his reporter pal at Reuters?
From Refugees Deeply:
The top U.S. diplomat dealing with refugees has resigned his post. Simon Henshaw became the third senior official dealing with refugees to depart or be reassigned in recent weeks.
The acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) said it was a routine professional departure.
“It very honestly had to do with the fact that I’d felt I’d spent enough time,” Henshaw told Reuters. “I’m used to moving on every two or three years.”
The 33-year public service veteran said his move was not a protest at the Trump administration’s refugee policies, which have seen cuts to financial support and resettlement numbers as well as travel bans.
Henshaw, who has been with PRM since 2013, will hand over to Carol O’Connell, the deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs. On January 9 Lawrence Bartlett, previously the head of the refugee admissions office at the State Department, was reassigned to the office handling Freedom of Information Act requests.
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has suspended the entire refugee program for four months, slashed resettlement places and funding for refugee programs and withdrawn the U.S. from the negotiations for a global compact on migration.
Earlier in January, Barbara Strack, chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, under the Department of Homeland Security, said she would retire this month.
The White House is also preparing to slash funding to the U.N. agency supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). [Yippee!—ed]
I bet the head honchos of the nine US State Department refugee contractors are running as fast as they can to meet O’Connell (if they haven’t done so already). If past is prologue, she will be their information pipeline (and advocate, they hope).
Here are the nine that are largely funded (involuntarily) by you, the taxpayer:
- 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)