This year has seen unprecedented — and unconstitutional — meddling in the decisions of a sitting president. Despite it all, President Trump has been able to sidestep and undermine much of this interference simply by enforcing current law. As a result, illegal immigration is down, the asylum program, which had become little more than an alternative form of immigration, is slowing as authorities check for attempted fraud, and refugee resettlement levels are lower because of Trump’s reduced annual caps. Meanwhile, President Trump patiently took the constitutional route of appealing the travel ban injunctions to the Supreme Court, confident that the justices would rule in his favor.
Yesterday, in a 7-to-2 decision, the Supreme Court did just that, allowing Presidential Proclamation 9645, the third iteration of President Trump’s travel ban, to come fully into effect pending two legal challenges expected to be heard soon in the oft-overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Supremes should have made the lifting of the injunctions permanent. The law is clear: the president has the authority to ban anyone that he believes is dangerous to the U.S.
Specifically, 8 U.S. Code §1182 (f) states:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
There were a total of three travel bans. Appeals courts blocked all three. So the various courts’ mischief reveals how corrupt and far-reaching the Washington swamp is. Working on the Left’s behalf, the courts did all they could to stall and disrupt the Trump agenda. It is yet another reminder that “people are policy,” and if our constitutional republic is ever to be restored, a thorough house-cleaning at the federal, state, and local levels in all three branches of government is necessary.
Furthermore, this moment in time — when the GOP controls both Congress and the White House — offers a unique opportunity to reform civil service employment law. As it stands, it is almost impossible to fire federal bureaucrats for anything.
But President Trump has done significant work despite the swamp’s resistance.
The prior travel bans set time limits. The latest ban, while reducing the total number of countries affected, does not. Immigrants and non-immigrants from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen are banned from travel to the United States, with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, that largely excludes refugees.
The presidential memorandum states:
This proclamation shall not apply to an individual who has been granted asylum by the United States, to a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or to an individual granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.
Despite refugees’ exclusion from the ban, the policies Trump has put in place are having an effect. For example, aggressively prosecuting asylum fraud and improving the vetting process for refugees, will bring down the overall refugee numbers, as fewer fakers will successfully get through, and fewer will risk trying. President Trump has set the refugee caps now at 45,000, a modest reduction from the past 17 years’ annual average of 60,000. Given that the resettlement industry saw rapidly increasing numbers during the Obama administration’s later years, however, left-wingers are now howling about these reductions.
Refugee numbers are down substantially. During October 2017, the first month of federal fiscal year 2018, only 1,242 refugees were admitted to the U.S. In the same month last year, the Obama administration admitted 9,945. If the current rate is sustained, total resettlement for the fiscal year will be under 20,000. In FY 2017, the total was 53,716, down from FY 2016’s 84,995.
But refugees are not the only foreigners being resettled through the refugee resettlement program. There are: asylum seekers (asylees); holders of special immigrant visas (SIV) given to Iraqis and Afghans who have assisted the U.S. military; victims of human trafficking; Cuban/Haitian Entrants; and those in the Unaccompanied Alien Children program (UAC).
Overall, these numbers skyrocketed in President Obama’s last four years. Trump’s enforcement efforts are already bringing down the number of UACs, and should also reduce the numbers in the asylum and SIV programs, both of which have been vulnerable to significant amounts of fraud.
President Trump took another action this week separately that hit the refugee advocates hard.
He pulled the U.S. out of the Global Compact on Migration, a U.N. effort to control and encourage refugee resettlement. The Trump administration declared that the compact “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles. As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.”
All of Trump’s actions are heartily welcome. What he has done, however, does not change the fundamental program. A future president — or even this president, if convinced by the swamp to do so — could turn around and ramp those numbers right back up again any time.
The various refugee categories rely on 9 private contractors and about 320 subcontractors to do the actual resettlement work. And this is the part of the program that needs to change. It is an incestuous stew of corruption that sucks state and local officials into its orbit.
Because they are paid by the head to resettle refugees, the contractors seek to maintain or increase refugee levels. They constantly lobby the government for more refugees. Many have been in the streets protesting — and even suing the government — since Trump took office. They ignore the complaints of local communities that bear the lion’s share of burdens refugees bring.
Leaders of these organizations move in and out of government in a revolving door. They run the resettlement contractor for a few years, then move into a job at the State Department or HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement to oversee the program for a few years, then back again to the resettlement contractor. They are out for themselves, and all are radical Left, open borders types. They are motivated both by ideology and personal gain. They shouldn’t be allowed to continue balkanizing our already-divided nation.