How Trump has sunk the hopes of refugees

Ishaan Tharoor writes:

Historically, the United States has been the most welcoming nation on the planet for refugees. Since the adoption of the 1980 U.S. Refugee Act, it has taken in around 3 million of the more than 4 million refugees who have been resettled around the world. But President Trump has made the denigration of refugees a core theme of his presidency, and his administration has all but barred the gates to foreigners seeking refuge in America.

According to studies released earlier this summer, 2017 marked the first year in almost four decades when the United States took in fewer refugees than the rest of the world. While Washington still accepted more refugees than any single nation, that number dropped to 33,000 from about 97,000 the year before. When counted as a percentage of the nation’s overall population, American admission lagged far behind countries like Canada, Australia and Norway.

Numerous politicians, aid organizations and rights advocates warn that Trump is unraveling the country’s resettlement system. An investigation published this week by Reuters news agency, based on interviews with more than 20 current and former U.S. officials, found that “the administration has rejected internal findings that refugees could be admitted safely and with little expense,” and has frozen out dissenting voices. “Two senior staff members who questioned the administration’s policies were removed from their positions,” the report detailed. [Continue reading…]

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