Despite Ample Pushback From US Judicial System
Refugee admission has taken a sharp plunge following Trump’s executive order banning incoming travelers from specific countries. Despite US federal courts blocking the action twice, the measure appears to have a signification impact on Trump’s campaign promise to severely reduce the number of refugees entering the United States.
USA today reports:
“The number of refugees arriving in the United States has dropped sharply this year because of President Trump’s threats to bar their entry, even though his order for a total 120-day ban has been blocked twice by federal courts, a USA TODAY analysis of government figures shows.
The U.S. accepted 2,070 refugees in March, the lowest monthly total since 2013, according to State Department data. April ended with 3,316 refugees admitted, the second-lowest total since 2013.
“The statements from this administration about refugees are shocking to me,” said Kay Bellor of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which resettled 13,000 refugees in 26 states last year. “It’s language I’ve never heard used with refugees, who have always enjoyed bipartisan support because they’re the best part of what the U.S. does.”
Refugees are a special class of migrants who seek asylum because war, persecution or natural disasters have forced them to flee their home countries. Worldwide, there are more refugees than at any time since World War II as a result of so many regional conflicts, according to the United Nations.
Faced with that crisis, President Barack Obama increased the number of refugees the U.S. accepts each year from 70,000 in fiscal year 2015, to 85,000 in 2016 and a proposed 110,000 in 2017. That compares to about 1 million Germany accepted in the past year. Trump, however, wants to lower that number to 50,000 because of concerns that terrorists might try to enter the U.S. posing as refugees.
Trump’s executive orders in January and March suspended the refugee program to improve the vetting procedures.
A federal judge in Seattle blocked Trump’s original order, which included a 90-day ban on travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations. A federal judge in Hawaii blocked Trump’s second attempt to institute the travel ban just hours before it was set to go into effect on March 15. The administration is appealing those rulings that concluded the bans are unconstitutional.
The legal wrangling resulted in the refugee program being suspended for only seven days. But Trump’s order to reduce the annual cap for admissions to 50,000 remained in effect for nearly two months until blocked by the judge reviewing the revised ban in March. The State Department said in a statement that it “adjusted the pace of refugee arrivals” simply to respond to the lowered refugee cap.”
Has Trump fulfilled his campaign promise thus far? Let us know what you think in the comment section!