“An admissions goal of zero would be another low in a global race to the bottom”
Human rights advocates said the Trump administration would be making a “catastrophic” and “grave error” if it followed through on a newly-reported proposal to slash refugee admissions to zero next year.
“It is beyond shameful and a new low, even for this administration, to even consider accepting no refugees to the U.S.,” said Ryan Mace, grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist for Amnesty International USA.
Politico first reported on the recommendation late Thursday, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the proposal.
According to the news outlet,
During a key meeting of security officials on refugee admissions last week, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] representative who is closely aligned with White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller suggested setting a cap at zero, the people said. Homeland Security Department officials at the meeting later floated making the level anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000, according to one of the people.
Even the highest figure would be a fraction of the record-low 30,000 limit on refugees the Trump administration set for 2019, a decision that also drew sharp condemnation.
Among the roughly 20 individuals at last week’s meeting, Politico reported, were USCIS official John Zadrozny and Andrew Vepre, who serves as deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The presence of the two during the meeting, the reporting continued, “speaks to the influence of Miller over the Trump administration’s immigration agenda. Both are viewed as proxies for the president’s hard-line adviser.”
News of the potentially dramatic slashing came the same week as the administration—in a move blasted as “deliberate cruelty”—issued a new policy targeting asylum-seekers. Already the subject of a lawsuit, the rule bans people who travel through another country before reaching the U.S.-Mexico from being eligible for asylum, which some viewed as an effective ban on asylum-seekers.
Scott Roehm, director of the Center for Victims of Torture’s Washington, D.C., office, referenced both developments in a statement on Thursday.
“The president and some of his senior advisers simply don’t want refugees to come to the United States, whether through the resettlement program or as asylum-seekers,” he said. “This is not about safety, or security, or economics; it’s xenophobia-fueled politics. Closing our doors to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, many of them torture survivors, is as un-American as it is appalling.”
News of the potential zero cap on refugees in 2020 also came under fire from the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
“If confirmed,” said Hans Van de Weerd, vice president for resettlement, asylum, and integration at IRC, “this decision is catastrophic.”
“An admissions goal of zero would be another low in a global race to the bottom led by an administration that has introduced travel bans, illegal asylum procedures, family separations, child detention, and is now proposing to abandon a rich American tradition of providing safety and opportunity,” Van de Weerd said. “These policies have caused unspeakable suffering for people most in need of protection.”
“It is imperative that the United States avoids this grave error,” he added.
To make that happen, Amnesty’s Mace called on lawmakers and constituents alike to take action.
“We call on every member of Congress and their community to speak out for those seeking safety,” he said, “and welcome refugees into their neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship, and homes.”
Obama’s chief economist warns of ‘a very high chance’ Trump’s trade war could cause 2020 recession
The former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama warned of "a very high chance" of Trump's trade war with China resulting in a recession -- "just in time for 2020."
Austan Goolsbee was interviewed by MSNBC's John Heilemann on Friday after the DJIA closed down over 600 points after the trade war escalated on Friday.
"Just give us, if you would, Austan, your sense of what has unfolded today and how bad it is," Heilemann asked.
"Yes, it’s terrible, I'm phoning from a bunker as we speak," Goolsbee replied.
"There hasn’t been a day like this in a very long time. Yes, the markets sell a lot but the fact we’re going to have an escalating trade war, the president of the United States is publicly declaring the head of the Fed an enemy of the state and, oh, by the way, 40% of the Amazon is on fire and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for pancreatic cancer," he continued. "If this is on a Friday, it makes it bad for Monday."
Trump responds to China raising tariffs — by raising tariffs on over half a trillion dollars in Chinese goods
After US markets tanked on Friday, President Donald Trump dramatically escalated his trade war with China.
"For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on trade, intellectual property theft, and much more. Our country has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year to China, with no end in sight," Trump tweeted.
"Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of fair and balanced trade that it has become a great burden to the American taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen," he argued.
MSNBC anchor blasts Trump’s ‘lunacy’ after ‘a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling’
The New York Stock Exchange closed down over 600 points on Friday as President Donald Trump's trade war with China escalated.
MSNBC anchor John Heilemann said, "we’re hours away for the president taking off to the G7 summit in Bairritz, France, where allies are bracing for the Trump-fueled mayhem that is now 100% certain to ensue, with Trump like a drunken traveler in the departure lounge about to take a trip that he dreads, already sewing global chaos, days-long public meltdown typically moved from words to actions."
"Donald Trump beginning this day with a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling, closing down more than 600 points today and escalating his trade war with China with these norm-shattering, power-abusing words in this tweet," he said, putting the tweet on-screen.