Warsan Shire wrote “…No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark…” This statement captures the urgency in which refugees fleeing their homelands live. It is an urgency that evades the current Trump administration which, just this week, reduced the annual quota of refugees the U.S. will receive for the second time this year. The 2018 refugee quota cap was lowered to only 45,000 while a backlog of approximately 300,000 refugee-applications is expected for 2018. This is the lowest cap since the U.S. legally organized its refugee program in 1980. It is in stark contrast with the Obama’s administration’s cap of 110,000.
Although, this decision is presented by the Administration as a security measure, all expert opinions agree that it is a grave mistake. Both the State Department and Homeland Security wanted more time to weigh-in on this decision, but did not get it. Also, both the Republican and the Democratic leadership of the judiciary committee stated that they were not sufficiently consulted on this decision. There were even reports that the Administration obstructed the State Department from performing its duties by forcing the State Department to produce only a partial cost analysis report of refugees’ resettlement in the U.S. and not to consider the benefits of refugee resettlement. In fact, the U.S. has benefitted tremendously from the refugee resettlement program. In the past 10 years alone, refugees resettled in the U.S. generated $63 billion in excess of the cost of the refugee program; a substantial net gain for America.
Interestingly, the reduction in the refugee-quota-cap comes within days of this Administration issuing a new travel ban. It is clearly part of the same anti-immigrant rhetoric that emanates from this leadership; another arm of a darker, xenophobic policy. Unfortunately for the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the mouths of “sharks” in their homeland, they are encountering the great white shark of America.
While the world tries to deal with the greatest refugee crisis of our time since WWII, almost 23 million people since 2000, the U.S. camouflages itself in the sand, resting, claiming to be afraid. Who exactly is the U.S. afraid of; the stranded widows with fatherless children lurking at our borders? After all, each refugee has to get through the thorough, robust vetting system the Administration put in place.
Albert Einstein once said “…The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything…” I dare say that even Einstein, with all his brilliance, was wrong. The world will be destroyed by those who do evil AND those who help them by not doing anything.
By The Immigration Post – Chief Editor