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A week that started with the threat of widespread immigration raids and a nearly complete ban on those seeking asylum at the border — followed by the President’s racist tweets and a racist campaign rally chant — ends with news broken by Politico last night that the number of refugees admitted next fiscal year will be zero if senior Trump advisors have their way. Ted Hesson writes:
The Trump administration is considering a virtual shutdown of refugee admissions next year — cutting the number to nearly zero — according to three people familiar with the plan…During 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.
Refugee admissions have already been slashed substantially under Trump and senior advisor Stephen Miller previously said, “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil.” Now Miller could have his way.
There are already about 40,000 refugees who have been vetted by the U.S. Government and approved for resettlement who may be barred from entry if they are unable to travel before September 30, 2019. Most of those are coming in through the “follow-to-join” program or “P2 program” to be reunited with refugee family members who are already here. This is yet another example of the Trump administration cruelly keeping families separated.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Trump is taking a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. Welcoming refugees is one of the foundational ideals of America. Trump now wants the United States to walk away from her position of world leadership as a beacon of freedom for those fleeing violence and persecution.
“There is no bottom to the President’s attack on the American idea, where we extend an open door and a helping hand to those seeking freedom. Trump and his enablers are fundamentally abandoning the values we hold dear. It’s time to stand up for those values before it’s too late.