President Trump and his team of anti-immigrant crusaders have made slowing down the entry of refugees into the United States one of their major reforms to our immigration system.
When the President announced his travel ban from 7 (and later 6) predominantly Muslim countries, he also announced a temporary halting of all refugee processing.
These measures obtained a significant amount of press coverage.
Lost in all of that coverage, however, was a more subtle change to the refugee process.
Legislation passed in 1980 requires the President and the administration to set the number of refugees that should be allowed into the United States each year.
For quite some time, that number has hovered between 100,000 and 110,000.
President Trump sought to cut that number in half. Recent reports seem to indicate that the number could fall even lower than 50,000.
So there is a lot of activity surrounding the refugee question. The President’s team argues that it is cheaper to assist refugees while they remain overseas and that there is no real reason to allow the people into the U.S.
Refugee advocates point to our nation’s long history of helping displaced people from around the globe to build a new life in the U.S. Another argument is that it is simply a humane thing to do.
Some of these issues appear headed for a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently halted the President’s ban on refugees from entering the U.S.
However, this week, the Supreme Court stayed that decision and allowed the refugee ban to stand.
The ban is set to expire in about 6 weeks. The Trump Administration has not made clear whether it will extend the ban, make it permanent or discontinue it. Signs point to a more permanent situation.
For this reason, the Supreme Court will take up the issue of the President’s authority to halt refugee processing under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In the meantime, people who have lost everything due to war and natural disasters around the world are being prevented from entering the greatest country on Earth.
Our United States.