A proposed limit of 18,000 refugees to be allowed into the United States for fiscal year 2020 has now been authorized by executive order. President Donald Trump inked the hard line mandate last week as posted by the White House on Friday.
This low number the latest in a descending trend of refugee admissions since Trump has taken office. A figure 4x less than received on average under former President Barack Obama.
An official briefing detailing that highly disputed decision dated on September 26th then stated: “This proposed ceiling takes into account the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis on our border and the massive asylum backlog, which now includes nearly one million individuals.” That continues with, “The overwhelming backlog is completely unsustainable and needs to be addressed before we accept large numbers of refugees.” In addition “at President Trump’s direction, refugees will be resettled in jurisdictions where both State and local governments consent to receive them.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added in a November 2nd press release certain distinct qualifications that might apply. They include “refugees who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of religion” Among them “Iraqis whose assistance to the United States has put them in danger; and for legitimate refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.” Plus “those referred to the United States Refugee Admissions Program by a United States Embassy in any location.” Along with “those who gain access to the United States Refugee Admissions Program for family reunification,” and select others.
Additionally “our support for displaced people also takes the form humanitarian assistance, and in Fiscal Year 2019 the United States contributed nearly $9.3 billion to supporting crisis response globally, the largest contribution of any country in the world.” As well as “prioritizing the cases of those already in our country is simply a matter of common sense. The diplomatic agreements the United States has reached with our Western Hemisphere neighbors to address illegal immigration and border security will allow us to refocus resources on reducing the current backlog of asylum cases that now encompasses more than an estimated one million individuals.”
Political rivals have quickly jumped on Trump for making such a brazen move. Democratic Presidential candidates in particular looking to capitalize on a difficult humanitarian situation here and gain an upper hand. What else can be done? With close to a million people already waiting for processing, the government must address that first.