Trump’s Base Reeling from Refugee Sucker Punch

By Joe Guzzardi
May 31, 2017
 
In what amounts to a sucker punch to the millions of voters who made President Trump’s upset election win possible, his State Department announced that it would lift the weekly numerical restrictions on refugees.
 
Consequently, nearly twice as many, mostly Muslim, refugees will soon enter the United States, from about the current 830 weekly to more than 1,500. Americans who elected President Trump in part because he promised a dramatic shift away from the past administration’s welcome-the-world immigration policies have been duped.
 
As reported in The New York Times, the State Department confirmed its decision to accelerate refugee admissions in a private email to resettlement agencies which could barely contain their glee. Advised that they would no longer be “constrained by the weekly quotas that were in place,” the agencies predicted that the refugee admission total could exceed 70,000 by the end of the fiscal year, September 30, a significantly higher total than the 50,000 President Trump proposed earlier.
 
Resettling refugees is a big, extremely profitable business. Agencies receive more than $1 billion annually in taxpayer funding, some of which goes toward the generous salaries their directors draw. With a healthy endowment of $63 million, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society had revenue of nearly $40 million, and listed ten staffers who earn more than $100,000 in 2014. HIAS’ chief executive officer makes in excess of $336,000 annually. Little wonder that HIAS and other profiteers are lobbying Congress for still more refugees in 2018.
 
The decision to accelerate refugee resettlement is doubly curious because it comes on the heels of the Manchester terrorist attack which should have, but obviously didn’t, serve as another wake-up call to the sleepy U.S. Congress. The attack’s perpetrator, who the media often referred to truthfully but incompletely as Manchester-born, was the son of Libyan refugees. Salman Abedi spent the last three weeks of his life in Libya, a growing Islamic terrorism hotbed. Second-generation refugees are responsible for some of the most heinous, jihad-inspired crimes, including the ones in San Bernardino, Orlando and Ft. Hood.
 
Resettlement advocates claim that refugees flee violence and chaos. But in his April 2016 interview, Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Geneva Office, said the primary reason people leave the Middle East is because they want educational opportunities for their children. Later in 2016, the International Monetary Fund confirmed Møller’s findings when it wrote that 95 percent of global migrants leave for economic reasons.
 
Those who count themselves among President Trump’s unwavering base point to the Obama holdovers that manage the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration which oversees refugee inflow. But President Trump could immediately fire that department’s ideolog director, and replace him with someone aligned with his refugee reduction vision. Others note that the lower courts have blocked the president’s executive order refugee travel slowdown, and in effect crippled him. But although Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to take the case to the Supreme Court, President Trump hasn’t displayed the least interest in fighting back even though federal law grants all presidents the right to restrict refugees. Instead, President Trump’s disastrous $1.1 trillion omnibus budget fully funded resettlement through the fiscal year end.
 
President Trump is only four months into his administration. But his refugee failures could cost him in 2020. Hopes ran high that President Trump would be different than his squishy predecessors. But as of today, he’s is just the same old, same old.
 

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

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