Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Trump admin implements most important refugee reform ever

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald/Getty
In July, I wrote a column making the case for zero refugees next year and for the right of local communities to reject refugee resettlement. Well, the administration just announced they are lowering the refugee cap for FY 2020 to 18,000 from the current level of 30,000 and will give local communities veto power over resettlement. Not a bad outcome for conservatives who are used to losing most policy battles.
First, let’s tackle the refugee cap. The Left is apoplectic over President Trump lowering the refugee cap to the “lowest level” ever. While this is technically true, the refugee cap should have really been set to zero because we have a record number of refugees in all-but-name-only at our border in our other humanitarian immigration pipelines.
The trick of our immigration system is that there are about a dozen categories that are similar to refugees in the sense that they are humanitarian visas, but only one actually holds the name. Thus, it’s disingenuous to ask for more refugees while ignoring the record numbers of other categories. We’ve had almost a million people come to our border, several hundred thousand of whom have been settled into our communities at a huge cost to local governments. There is now a 1 million person backlog in immigration courts, quadruple the level from a decade ago. Asylum, if anything, is even more burdensome on the nation than refugees because we don’t select or vet them; they simply show up on our doorstep.
The notion that we would not lower the refugee cap when we have 1 million existing refugees for DHS officials to process and monitor makes no sense. As USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement, “The proposed FY 2020 refugee ceiling, as outlined by the president, takes into account our existing and anticipated humanitarian workload on all fronts and fulfills our primary duty to protect and serve U.S. citizens.”
Moreover, the media is forgetting the fact that there is another category of refugees resettled by the Office of Refugee Resettlement; namely, “unaccompanied alien children.” This past year, we had a record number of them and it will likely reach 70,000 by the end of the year. Historically, 70,000 was the typical number of refugees we’ve taken in per year. As such, whereas this year it won’t come from the traditional refugees from the Eastern Hemisphere, they already came in the form of Central American teens, which has already chewed up the agency’s entire budget. The American people should not be on the hood for double dipping.
Read the rest from Daniel Horowitz HERE.

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