There’s a tremendous amount of good news coming out of the Trump administration and numerous government departments, but some of the best of it is that the number of refugees being admitted to the United States has continued to fall since President Trump took office.
In fact, by the figures, the number of refugees admitted in March of this year — 2,070 in total — was almost one-fifth the number admitted last October and is the lowest so far for the 2017 fiscal year that began that month.
A concerted effort by the federal government to promote better border security, decline refugees from dangerous states such as Libya and spread the message that the government is getting tough with deportations has slowed the number of people seeking political asylum from nations that pose a risk to the U.S.
All of this is in spite of the fact that President Trump’s executive orders for a travel ban from six (originally seven) Middle Eastern countries have been partially blocked by judges in U.S. District Courts. The parts of the orders that haven’t been blocked cap the total number of refugees to be in admitted in fiscal year 2017 at 50,000.
President Trump has declared that surpassing that number “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” This is in sharp contrast with the Obama administration’s letting in 84,995 refugees for fiscal year 2016 and requesting to admit 110,000 for 2017.
Because the fiscal year started before President Trump took office, the Obama administration was able to admit 30,122 refugees in its last days prior to Trump’s inauguration. With the 8,967 refugees that have been allowed in under Trump, that makes a total of 39,098 refugees that have been admitted in the fiscal year thus far, with only 10,902 allowable between now and September 30.
If current downward trends continue, the numbers incoming to the country may not even reach that amount by then. So far, the countries of origin for the refugees admitted so far include the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 6,698 refugees; Syria, with 5,839 refugees; Iraq, with 5,676 refugees; Somalia, with 4,917 refugees; Burma, with 3,270 refugees; Ukraine, with 2,600 refugees; Bhutan, with 2,132 refugees; Iran, with 1,969 refugees; and Afghanistan, with 1,027 refugees.
It should be noted that the U.S. is currently involved in military conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, meaning that there are chances that refugees being admitted from those countries could be infiltrating on behalf of enemy factions in those states, including al-Qaeda and ISIS.
If Trump’s travel ban can be 100 percent effected, this would put a major dent in the already-lowered refugee numbers, particularly from the war-torn states of Syria and Somalia. Three of the other countries in the travel ban — Sudan, Yemen and Libya — account for just 648 refugees total, with Yemeni refugees only numbering 18 and Libyan refugees numbering just three.
Of course, it’s worth recounting that the 9/11 hijackers were “only” 19 men (mostly Saudi Arabian), so in some ways, total numbers don’t truly equate to true safety. However, given the fact that these refugees are distributed throughout the country’s population of roughly 325 million people, the chances of any of them being able to harm significant numbers of Americans is low.
President Trump’s travel ban initially tried to institute a permanent ban of refugees from the nation of Syria, which is primarily where ISIS operates. The second version of the ban rescinded that condition, but Syrian refugees have continued to be in the news because two of the terrorists responsible for the November 2015 bombings in Paris used fake Syrian passports to enter France.
“Some terrorists are trying to get into our countries and commit criminal acts by mixing in with the flow of migrants and refugees,” stated French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in a warning to the European Union.
The Obama administration repeatedly claimed that vetting procedures for refugees were the most robust of all safeguards for persons wanting to enter the United States. But given the ongoing unrest in Syria, concerns have been raised about U.S. security agencies’ abilities to vet refugee applicants from that country in particular.
At a Homeland Security Committee meeting in the House of Representatives, FBI Director James Comey warned that “If someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but we’re not going to… there’ll be nothing to show up, because we have no record of that person. You can only query what you’ve collected.”
Since the Paris attacks, the U.S. has let in 18,135 Syrian refugees, including 5,839 in this fiscal year and 1,221 since President Trump took office. Of those 18,135 Syrians, 98.8 percent were Muslim, 0.3 percent were of the Yazidi or other faiths and 0.9 percent were Christian.
During the months President Trump has been in office, the numbers have been 98.5 percent Muslim, 0.2 percent Yazidi or other faiths and 1.2 percent Christian. It should be noted that Christians make up roughly 11 percent of the Syrian population and Yazidis 2 percent, but these two groups have been disproportionately targeted for genocide by ISIS.
In Trump’s original travel ban, priority was given to religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis, but this has been dropped from the second version of Trump’s executive order.
One can only hope that sanity will reign and that the number of refugees admitted to our country falls further until much more robust vetting procedures have been put in place.
President Trump is right to want to ban travel from conflict areas, as ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists would like nothing better than to do our country harm if they can make it happen. Knowing where people have really come from and what their past history consists of is Step 1 in that battle.
~ Conservative Zone