Lowest Refugee Numbers Ever

img_2537Back from a long weekend on Lake Superior, to the not-unexpected news that Trump has cut refugee numbers again, setting the cap for fiscal year 2019 at a historic low of 30,000. Last year, he reduced the cap on refugee admissions to 45,000 and then imposed measures that reduced the actual number of refugees admitted even further. By the time this fiscal year ends on September 30, the actual number admitted for fiscal year 2018 will be far lower.

The actual number admitted this year is 20,918. That’s far below even the post-9/11 lows of 27,000 in 2002 and 28,000 in 2003. Canada, which has one-tenth the population of the United States, will resettle more refugees.

Trump has targeted refugees since his first day in office, through his travel bans and other policies. The current travel ban slams the door on refugee families, like the family of Adan Hassan.

“Hassan’s mother, Fatuma Diriye, a diabetic with heart problems, and his other relatives remain in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp. Although they were approved for resettlement in the United States at the same time Hassan was, their plans have been repeatedly delayed by the Trump administration’s dismantling of longstanding U.S. refugee policy. The State Department declined to comment on Diriye’s case.”

A recent Reuters analysis shows a clear racial bias in the Trump/Sessions anti-refugee policies:

“Refugees admitted to the United States from the small European country of Moldova, for example, now outnumber those from Syria by three to one, although the number of Syrian refugees worldwide outnumbers the total population of Moldova.

“Somalis like Hassan and his family now have little chance of getting in. As of Sept. 10, 251 Somali refugees have been resettled in America this year, a 97 percent drop from the 8,300 admitted by this point in 2016.”

Refugees denied entry or put on seemingly permanent hold include thousands who live in fear for their lives because of their service to U.S. military forces in Iraq. More than 3,000 were admitted in fiscal year 2017, and about 5,100 during fiscal year 2016, President Obama’s last full year in office. This year? Only 48.

September 31 and other recent stories

Immigration officials are required by a recent Supreme Court decision to give immigrants a date to appear for a hearing when ordering the deportation process to begin. Instead, reports the ABA Journal, among others:

“Some people received documents with orders to appear in immigration court at midnight on Sept. 31—in a month that has 30 days. More than a dozen people showed up last Thursday at the Dallas immigration court with notices to appear, which are usually prepared by ICE. Court personnel told them to fill out a form and call a number to find out their actual court date, according to the article.”

In other recent stories:

To end this news round-up, some positive news from Oregon: Both Nike and Columbia Sportswear have stood tall in “public opposition to a movement that would overturn a longstanding sanctuary law regarding immigration in Oregon.”

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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