May 10, 2019 (onlyhennikerbruce)
In March of 1980, Congress passed the Refugee Act.
That law gives the authority “to fix a number/year of refugees to the U.S.” to the President — but only “after appropriate consultation” with Congress as defined by section 207(e) of the Refugee Act:
“207(e) For purposes of this section, the term ‘appropriate consultation* means, with respect to the admission of refugees and allocation of refugee admissions, discussions in person by designated Cabinet-level representatives of the President with members of the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and of the House of Representatives…”
Immigration policy regarding REFUGEES, by law is a function of the Executive Branch.
It would appear, this consultation process with the Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary is nothing more than a courtesy. The statute has no firm language requiring the President to heed congressional advice.
In November of 2016, when the Republicans were in the majority and fresh off President trumps election win, the committees became aware that President Obama failed to disclose plans (inked in September of 2016) to accept refugees from Australia;
“Congressional Judiciary Committee leaders are expressing frustration and concern with an Obama Administration plan to admit into the United States an unknown number of refugees who Australia has refused to admit. The Administration never disclosed to Congress that it was negotiating a deal with Australia, even though it was apparently in the works when Administration officials provided a legally-required consultation to Congress on refugees in September.”
The refugees were largely from Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan. The State Department, then and now, had designated Iran and Sudan as state sponsors of terrorism.
Looking back: In January of this year Anne Richard, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (2012-2017) published a two year retrospective;
“Amazingly, the Australia-US deal has survived anti-refugee politics of both governments. Today, refugees continue to be screened by the Department of Homeland Security and moved from the South Pacific to the US, albeit slowly and in small numbers. This is a rare good news story emerging from an administration that has, tragically, slashed the numbers of refugees being resettled in America.”
I too look at this as a good news story, but I disagree with the characterization that the restrictions imposed by President Trump’s administration are tragic.
We Americans must come to an understanding on two things;
- Good and Evil people will exploit the refugee system. Obviously those dark forces who profit from human trafficking, play on American’s compassion. We cannot continue enforcing hard line policy in one administration only to become soft in another. We cannot afford to have a vacillating Refugee Relocation Policy. It must be strong and unified.
- President Trump is correct: CONGRESS MUST ACT. The law regarding Refugee Relocation must be changed. We need to clearly define what branch of government has the authority to set limits on this element of immigration.
We the People; cannot continue to allow IMMIGRATION POLICY to be weaponized by either side of the aisle.
OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..
“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”