Saturday, October 26, 2019

Trump Administration’s Scaledown of Refugee Program Is Built to Endure

Photo: sandy huffaker/AFP/Getty Images
Steps to increase vetting and stop applications would make it hard for any future policy reversals to have impact
The Trump administration’s decision to reduce this year’s refugee cap to a record-low 18,000 people is just one step in its broader plan to shrink the program and make it harder for any future administration to quickly resume accepting refugees.
The government has increased vetting of most refugees, slowing the arrival of people who were previously approved. It also said last month that it would stop accepting most new referrals from the United Nations agency that coordinates world-wide refugee resettlement, meaning almost no new applicants will enter the yearslong process required for resettlement in the U.S.
The administration also this year introduced a new system of setting caps for special categories of refugees, including Iraqis who aided the U.S. military and people fleeing religious persecution, within its larger cap of 18,000. As a result of other steps it has taken to slow their processing, the real number of refugees admitted to the U.S. this year could fall well beneath that target.
President Trump hasn’t finalized the 18,000-person cap, though the fiscal year began Oct. 1, and the State Department has cancelled refugee flights through Oct. 28.
Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli, who oversees refugee vetting, said the slowdown is partly caused by the large number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum, for which people fleeing persecution and violence can apply once they are already on U.S. soil. Mr. Cuccinelli said resources are being put toward processing those cases.
Photo: jose luis gonzalez/Reuters
The administration has taken separate steps to curtail asylum applications, particularly from Central American migrants, who made up the majority of the nearly one million people crossing the border last year, including requiring those migrants to apply for humanitarian protection in other Central American countries.
President Trump and immigration officials in his administration say the more restrictive refugee policy is necessary to protect national security. Officials add that the cost of bringing refugees to the U.S. far exceeds that of helping a greater number of refugees resettle closer to home.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: