Key security officials in President Donald Trump’s administration are considering cutting refugee admissions to the United States to zero in 2020, according to a new report.
Some senior Trump security officials made the suggestion during a meeting on refugee admissions last week, three people familiar with the plan told Politico.
Homeland Security Department officials at the meeting suggested the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. should be between 3,000 to 10,000.
About 20 members from a variety of departments — including the State Department, Homeland Security, Justice Department, Department of Defense and the National Security Council — were present at the meeting held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
A source told Politico that a member of the State Department, Andrew Veprek, along with John Zadrozny, a USCIS official, argued, “the refugee cap should be low because of ongoing security concerns and the ability of the U.S. to offer humanitarian protections through the asylum process.”
WesternJournal reports: Jen Smyers, a director with resettlement agency Church World Service, said cutting the number of refugees could potentially hurt the resettlement process in the future.
Due to the amount of time it takes to process the request by the refugee, critics of the plan argue that dropping the number to zero could backlog the system for years.
“In the long-term, it would mean that the capacity and the ability of the United States to resettle refugees would be completely decimated,” Smyers said.
The potential drop in the number of admitted refugees is also troubling for Department of Defense officials who want to allow Iraqi refugees who have helped the United States in Iraq into the country, Politico reported.
In a letter to White House national security adviser John Bolton last year, former Defense Secretary James Mattis advocated for the admission of the Iraqi refugees.
“Over the last 17 years of war, numerous Iraqi nationals have risked their own lives and their families’ lives by aligning with our diplomats and warfighters providing essential mission support. We owe them support for their commitment,” he wrote.
Mattis added that shunning the Iraqi refugees could hurt U.S. future endeavors inIraq.
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