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Trump officials are pushing for zero take-up of refugees next year







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The Trump administration is considering, according to three people familiar with the plan, virtually curbing reception of refugees.

During an important meeting of security officials on refugee reception Last week, a representative of the US Citizenship and Immigration Department, working closely with White House Immigration Advisor Stephen Miller, struck one Limit of zero, according to one respondent.

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The proposal for an early cessation of the refugee program is alarming at the Department of Defense, which is the admission of Iraqis who gave their lives for the support of US forces risked in this country, do not want to stop Stepping up after the Trump administration lowered its reception of refugees this year by a third to 30,000.

If the administration shuts down the reception of refugees, this would give President Donald Trump a strong topic of conversation, as he makes immigration restrictions his core reelection campaign.

At the same time, it would hit thousands of people who are already far in the process, and affect the ability of resettlement agencies to process refugees in future years, according to supporters who track the problem.

"In the long term This would mean that the capacity and ability of the United States to relocate refugees would be completely decimated," said Jen Smyers, director of Church World Service, one of the nine US resettlement agencies.

The State Department declined to discuss the possible cap. The Ministries of Internal Security, Justice, Defense and the National Security Council, which had representatives at the meeting, did not respond to requests for opinion.

The meeting of about 20 officials last week, which took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is a preliminary step in the annual process of establishing the admission restriction according to state of knowledge.

United States Department of State USCIS official John Zadrozny and Andrew Veprek – both known as Miller allies – argued in the meeting that the refugee ceiling was due to the continuing security concerns and US ability to provide humanitarian protection as part of the asylum procedure, should be low According to one participant.

While the two programs similarly protect persecuted persons, refugees apply for overseas protection, while asylum seekers file an application as soon as they arrive at the border or enter the United States with a legal visa. Proponents of the refugee program claim that it offers the US diplomatic and military leverage at the international level that goes beyond its humanitarian goals.

However, while Trump officials are drastically restricting refugee reception, the government has sought to significantly reduce the availability of asylum. A comprehensive ordinance issued this week would prevent migrants traveling through another country on their way to the US from seeking asylum. The measure – which has already been the subject of two court cases – could suffocate the majority of asylum applications.

The Miller allies claimed at the meeting that the determination of the refugees did not matter, as it was a cap, not a lower bound, and the administration still had the discretion to absorb fewer people, one said the persons who are aware of this.

The various agencies will submit their recommendations by 1 August, the person POLITICO said.

The presence of Zadrozny and Veprek in the refugee cap negotiations speaks in favor of Miller's influence on the Trump administration's immigration agenda. Both are considered deputies to the adviser to the president.

Zadrozny worked for the White House Home Affairs Council before moving to the State Department last year. He joined USCIS after Trump hired former Virginia attorney general and Ken Cuccinelli immigration bus driver as deputy director.

Veprek is a foreign service officer, who last year switched to a high-level Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration of the State Department.

Although some members of the administration have tried to close the office In the refugee program, the Ministry of Defense has emerged as a lawyer. Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis went behind the scenes last year to see the government keep the refugee ceiling at 45,000, according to a previously unpublished POLITICO letter.

"In the last 17 years of the war, many Iraqi nationals took their risks We owe them their support by coordinating with our diplomats and war fighters, who are vital to their own lives and the lives of their families", he wrote in a letter to the White House National Security Adviser, John Bolton.

Mattis added that renouncing the commitment to Iraqis who have worked with the US military – many as translators and interpreters – could Threaten US interests.

Trump, on the recommendation of the State Department, decided to reduce the number of refugees from 45,000 the previous year to 30,000, but not the very low level that some supporters of refugees feared.

Whether the acting Minister of Defense Mark Esper will defend the program remains unclear ear. [19659004] According to a recent US State Department report recently reviewed by POLITICO, nearly 9,000 refugees are currently allowed to enter the US. In addition, more than 29,000 refugees have completed USCIS interviews, an important step in this process.

Of the Iraqi applicants who continue to pose a problem for the Department of Defense, only 140 have been received so far this year. According to an analysis of refugee groups, more than 100,000 people are still in the queue.

Refugee donors claim that the number of people currently involved in the process contradicts the argument that the US will not be able to handle 30,000 or more refugees next year. Moreover, they fear that the doomsday scenario, where the numbers go down to zero, could weaken the resettlement program for the coming years.

The process of receiving refugees typically takes years, and officials have in the past developed multi-year strategies that, according to Barbara Strack, a former head of the USCIS Department of Refugee Affairs, would be disturbed by an interruption in wholesale retirement Year 2018.

"At least half of the applicants admitted in a given fiscal year had a USCIS interview last year," she said of planning during her tenure. "We were building a pipeline for [who] which should be approved in the following fiscal year."

According to an analysis of the libertarian Cato earlier this year, refugees historically did not pose a significant threat to terrorism or national security.

In addition, the Trump administration has always been able to accommodate refugees from different parts of the world.

"Even though you are very hesitant about certain types of conflict areas, I think there are other areas that are not relevant," said David Inserra, a political scientist at the Conservative Heritage Foundation. "There are enough refugees in the world that I think you could find more people to worry about."

The Trump administration will not have to make the refugee decision next month, and there is still time for lobbying outside the administration. The administration also has to consult with members of related congressional committees regarding the provision, though this requirement has largely been shelved under Trump.

Regardless, refugee followers worry about the direction of the talks.

"We will not get the final number until September and things can change," said a pro-refugee supporter following the issue. "But the conversation where it is now is alarming."


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