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Trump administration considering allowing cities, states to decide if they want to take in refugees
By JD Heyes // Aug 22, 2019

Once again, the Trump White House is attempting to stick it to Democrat-run states and cities as the president and his advisers figure out new and inventive ways to one-up their political opponents.


As reported by NBC News, the president is considering an executive order that would allow states and cities to decide whether they want to accept refugees. 

According to a draft of the policy, which was leaked to the outlet, “the federal government will resettle refugees only where both the relevant state and local governments have consented to participate" in the program that allows for refugee resettlement.

A senior Department of Homeland Security official said that the policy was currently being reviewed by administration lawyers in a variety of federal agencies that would be affected by the change.

If implemented, the policy would mean states and cities that did not want to accept new refugees could opt out, thereby forcing them to go to other locations. Left-wing cities on the East and West Coasts which claim to have a high tolerance for taking in migrants and refugees would have the opportunity to get as many as they wanted.

There would be one exception to the policy, NBC News reported: In cases of resettling spouses and children of refugees who are already settled somewhere in the U.S.

NBC News noted further: 

Refugee rights organizations have long advocated for refugees to be relocated in areas where there are already refugees of the same country living to create a sense of community for those fleeing violence and persecution.

A former Obama official who worked on immigration issues, Peter Boogaard, said the new policy may hinder religious organizations like the Catholic Church by preventing them from resettling refugees in states around the country. It “would also have a dramatic impact on the ability of future administrations to return refugee admissions to the normal historic levels,” he said. 

This is what federalism looks like

The policy shift comes as the administration is considering whether or not to curb current refugee resettlement levels for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. In fiscal year 2016, the final year of the Obama regime, the U.S. permitted 85,000 refugees to resettle. But for the current fiscal year (2019), that figure has fallen to 30,000 and President Trump is said to be considering lowering it even further. Some officials are proposing zero resettlement admissions, NBC News reported, citing unnamed sources.

Leftists complain that if the order is carried it could undercut efforts to resettle refugees under a 1980 law that clearly gives the federal government the authority to make refugee policy. The intent of that law, they say, was to give the Executive Branch flexibility in dealing with an influx of refugees coming from Cuba at the time.

“Governors could elect not to take part in the refugee resettlement program,” said Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), which resettles refugees under agreements made by the State Department.

“That would have a horrible impact on the program,” he continued. “That would liberally be an abdication of federal authority.”

He called the idea a “malevolent and wasteful plan to concentrate refugees in blue states.”

But Ellen Beattie, senior director of U.S. programs for the International Rescue Committee, said refugees are under no obligation to remain where they are first offered resettlement. 

In 2015, 31 governors — all Republicans save for one — vowed they would block refugee resettlement of Syrians in their states. Democrats and their Leftist media allies reported at the time that they were bigoted in their decision, but really it had nothing to do with “Muslims” and everything to do with security. At the time, Syria was engulfed in a civil war, its governing infrastructure had broken down, and no one could be certain that ISIS fighters and terrorists would be excluded from Syrian refugee groups.

Now, under the new policy, blue states can have all of them they want. We’ll see if that happens.

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