Thursday, February 16, 2017

Refugee-resettlement agencies are scrambling to cut staff and, in some cases, close entire offices as they prepare for a reduction in refugee arrivals to the U.S. under President Donald Trump’s unfolding policy.

A pro-refugee group leaked an “official guidance” from the U.S. State Department to NPR Wednesday that said refugee arrivals will begin to dry up after March 3.

As WND reported last week, the one part of Trump’s embattled executive order that was not blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court, was his reduction of the fiscal-2017 cap on refugees from 110,000 set by Barack Obama to 50,000. The fiscal year ends Oct. 1.

Since 35,000 refugees have already arrived, that would mean another 15,000 would be allowed in by Oct. 1. The fact that the State Department is now saying new arrivals will end by March 3 means Trump could be planning to lower the ceiling further since it would be nearly impossible to hit the 50,000 cap in a little over two weeks.

“I guess it could be done, but they would have to ramp up from about 300 or 400 a day to 2,000 a day, and that’s a monumental task,” noted Ann Corcoran, who runs the watchdog website Refugee Resettlement Watch.

The court also did not rule on a provision of Trump’s executive order that would make it easier for states and cities to veto refugee placements.

After the jihadist attack on Paris in November 2015, more than 24 U.S. governors, most of them Republicans, notified the Obama administration that they did not want to receive any refugees from Syria, since two refugees from that country were implicated in the coordinated attacks that killed 130 and wounded more than 300.

But Secretary of State John Kerry quickly informed the governors that they had no authority under the Refugee Act of 1980 to block the placements of refugees in their states. Trump wants to give them that authority, which would mean the refugees would continue to arrive at “welcoming cities” but not those putting up barriers.

Of the 85,000 refugees resettled in U.S cities and towns last year, a record 40,000, or nearly half, were Muslims.

260,000 Muslims per year entering U.S.

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