The refugee arrivals numbers are in, and there’s good news and bad news. The numbers are calculated based on the fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, according to the Cato Institute.
Early on, President Donald Trump was attacked over the travel ban. Some claimed it was a Muslim ban, but it was not.
It had been used by President Barack Obama, as well. The focus was on restricting entry to the United States from people coming from countries that were known as terrorism hotbeds.
In September 2017, CNN reported that the Trump administration would “dramatically reduce the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States, bringing the number to less than half of what former President Barack Obama had proposed for the current fiscal year.” And the number of refugees for the last fiscal year has shown a significant decline.
Cato reported that the number of Muslim refugees had been reduced by a staggering 93 percent. This is not because of their religion, but the region of the world they are coming from.
In his part of fiscal year 2017, Obama admitted 304 refugees from Iraq and 27 from Syria. In his part of fiscal year 2017, Trump admitted only 74 refugees from Iraq and 4 from Syria.
That meant in fiscal year 2017, a total of 378 refugees were admitted into the United States from Iraq. A total of 31 came in from Syria.
In fiscal year 2018, only 3 were allowed in from Iraq. Only 2 refugees from Syria were admitted into the United States.
While that is a dramatic difference, when viewed by religion, the bad news comes into play. While on the campaign trail, Trump promised to help Christian refugees, who were largely overlooked by the Obama administration and typically faced violence and the threat of death in their home regions.
The reduction in admissions has hit Christians, too, with the numbers being lowered by 64 percent.
Trump “has also cut Syrian Christian refugee arrivals by 94 percent and those from Iraq by 99 percent,” according to Cato. “He has admitted just 20 Syrian Christians in all of Fiscal Year 2018.”
With all of the migrant caravan and border wall talk, the issue of refugees seeking asylum due to life-threatening danger in their home countries has been a hot topic. But that also applies to Christians in the Middle East.
If the United States is going to offer asylum to those who are fleeing for their lives, shouldn’t the promise be kept to help Christians who are being persecuted because of their religious beliefs? If the plan is to not take in any asylum seekers or refugees at all, then why is anyone allowed to make such claims at the southern U.S. border currently?
If the U.S. is going to take in refugees, then those legitimately fleeing for their lives should be given priority. If the U.S. is going to give asylum to those whose lives are in danger, Christians coming from countries where they are persecuted should be able to get our help.
It seems that in the process of cutting down admissions from certain countries, Christians are getting caught up in the mix. There needs to be a better way to address the issue — one that will help rather than hurt those in need.
The Cato Institute did note that Trump may not be aware of the problem. They wrote that if he isn’t, and is made aware of it, he could initiate changes that would see not only a correction to the problem, but his keeping yet another campaign promise. Win-Win.
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