And designated terrorist group CAIR has its panties in a wad over it, slamming the Trump administration for considering a virtual shutdown of refugee admissions next year — cutting the number to nearly zero — according to three people familiar with the plan. The current immigration ban on 5 Muslim countries would continue.
According to CAIR: “This proposal is just the latest manifestation of Donald Trump’s white supremacist agenda that also includes the Muslim Ban, restrictions on asylum seekers, family separation, and attempts to roll back Temporary Protective Status,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “This administration is actively destroying almost 250 years of our country’s history as a nation built by refugees.
(That was then, when there was no welfare. This is now, when refugees, especially Muslim refugees, most with little or no skills, are content to live off welfare. What’s more, Muslims were NEVER part of the building of this nation)
PoliticoDuring a key meeting of security officials on refugee admissions last week, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representative who is closely aligned with White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller suggested setting a cap at zero, the people said. Homeland Security Department officials at the meeting later floated making the level anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000, according to one of the people.
The possible move comes after the Trump administration cut refugee admissions by a third this year, to way less than the 30,000 cap (around 22,000).
If the administration shuts down refugee admissions, it would give President Donald Trump a powerful talking point as he makes immigration restrictions a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
“In the long-term, it would mean that the capacity and the ability of the United States to resettle refugees would be completely decimated,” said Jen Smyers, a director with Church World Service, one of the nine U.S. resettlement agencies.
The State Department declined to discuss the possible cap. The departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense and the National Security Council, which had representatives at the meeting, did not respond to requests for comment.
USCIS official John Zadrozny and the State Department’s Andrew Veprek — both known as Miller allies — argued in the meeting that the refugee cap should be low because of ongoing security concerns and the ability of the U.S. to offer humanitarian protections through the asylum process, according to an attendee.
While the two programs similarly protect people facing persecution, refugees apply for protection from overseas, while asylum seekers apply once they’ve arrived at the border or entered the U.S. on a legal visa. Proponents of the refugee program contend it offers the U.S. diplomatic and military leverage internationally beyond its humanitarian aims.
But even as Trump officials weigh dramatically cutting refugee admissions, the administration also has sought to greatly reduce the availability of asylum. A sweeping regulation issued this week would block migrants who pass through another country en route to the U.S. from seeking asylum. The measure — already the subject of two lawsuits — could choke off the majority of asylum claim.
The Miller allies asserted at the meeting that the refugee determination didn’t matter because it was a ceiling, not a floor, and the administration still retained the discretion to admit fewer people, according to one of the people with knowledge of it.