“America Needs Refugees” (NYT):
The statute became the basis for the successful resettlement of more than three million refugees escaping violence and persecution. The country can take pride in that sustained humanitarianism, which has also made the United States stronger.
His first executive order, in January 2017, indefinitely suspended the resettlement of Syrian refugees, froze resettlement admissions and barred entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. Later that year, Mr. Trump announced that he was capping refugee admissions at 45,000, — less than half of the 110,000 the year before under President Barack Obama. It was the first time that the ceiling was below 67,000.
A former widget in the Refugee Industrial Complex is now getting a paycheck from the Refugee Industrial Complex:
Marwa Al Ibrahim, a refugee from Iraq, now works as the integration program supervisor at Refugee Services of Texas in Fort Worth. Ms. Al Ibrahim worked as a translator for a French news agency in Baghdad. Her family was targeted in a car bombing that nearly killed her father. After the attack, the family applied for refugee status in 2008. In 2014, they were finally resettled in Fort Worth. Resettlement gave them a chance to be safe at last.
An entire ecosystem works together to support refugees like Ms. Al Ibrahim. Resettlement agencies partner with faith communities, volunteer networks, hospitals and employers in cities all over the country, to provide them with basic needs like housing, medical care and job skills. They help with immigration and legal services, cultural orientation, and trauma-informed mental health care. It is the unlikeliest thing — a bureaucratic program laced with good will and hope.
With more Syrians living here, we could be having more and better protests:
The Trump administration’s destruction of the refugee resettlement program is too important to ignore. I keep thinking of the Syrian artist in Idlib Province who painted a mural of George Floyd in June. It was especially poignant to see support for the Black Lives Matter movement coming out of Idlib, the last region of Syria where rebels resist Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Syrians are still barred from entering the United States.
There is hope:
If elected, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has pledged to end the “vile Muslim ban” on his first day in office. He plans to set the admissions cap at 125,000 refugees and “raise it over time commensurate with our responsibility, our values and the unprecedented global need.”
The question for today… We know that low-skill immigrants make America great/rich. We know that low-skill refugee immigrants make America even greater if not, perhaps, even richer than non-refugee low-skill immigrants. Why is it rational to have a limit of 125,000 per year? If we are morally obligated to accept people who claim refugee status, isn’t it immoral to have any kind of limit? If immigrant refugees make us better off, isn’t it irrational, on a purely selfish basis, to have any kind of limit?