Bureaucrats at the State Department brought in another 512 refugees to the United States on Wednesday, according to the department’s interactive website.
The continued influx of refugees may be an attempt by the bureaucrats and their allies at the voluntary resettlement agencies (VOLAGs) to test President Donald Trump’s resolve to deliver on his campaign promise to suspend resettlement of refugees from Syria and other countries hostile to the United States.
The VOLAGs, which include Catholic Charities, the Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, are paid more than $1 billion per year by the federal government to manage the resettlement of refugees in the United States.
Reuters, Fox Business, and Vox have all reported that President Trump is expected to sign an executive order some time this week placing a temporary ban on the arrival of refugees, and limiting the ceiling on refugees allowed into the country in FY 2017 to levels below FY 2016.
Another executive order blocking visas from seven Middle Eastern countries is also expected soon, media outlets report.
But the bureaucrats at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, (BPRM) the agency in the department responsible for accepting arriving refugees sent to the United States by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, and transporting them to initial resettlement locations throughout the country, appear eager to accept as many new refugees as possible before President Trump explicitly orders them to stop.
On Tuesday, when media reports that President Trump was expected to order a temporary ban on refugees first surfaced, the State Department brought in 575 refugees, 75 more than the 500 refugees originally reported on the department’s interactive website as of midnight eastern on Tuesday.
In the two days since news of the pending executive order first broke, the State Department has brought in a total of 1,087 refugees, bringing the total that have arrived in the country since October 1, 2016, the beginning of FY 2017, to 31,521.
In FY 2016, a total of 84,994 refugees were resettled in the United States. The lowest number of refugees resettled in the United States during the Obama administration was in FY 2011, when 56,424 arrived.
Annual refugee resettlement in the Bush administration ranged from a low of 28,390 in FY 2003 to a high of 60,191 in FY 2008.
The last-minute flood of refugees this January has been coordinated by career bureaucrats and their allies at the VOLAGs.
Anne Richard, the Assistant Secretary of State for BPRM appointed by President Obama, resigned earlier this month.
BPRM is currently being run by a department bureaucrat working in an acting capacity.
Obstructionism by Democrats in the Senate who have held up a final confirmation vote on Secretary-of-State designate Rex Tillerson to take over the department has prevented the naming of a Trump political appointee to take over as Assistant Secretary of State at BPRM.
It is a similar story at the other federal office that manages the resettlement of refugees. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, takes over the initial resettlement responsibilities for refugees delivered to a location by the State Department.
Those duties include arranging for lodging, food, clothing, all paid for by the federal government, and signing the refugees up for a myriad of federal programs.
Robert Carey, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement appointed by President Obama, also resigned earlier this month.
Democrats in the Senate have also delayed a final confirmation vote on Dr. Tom Price, Secretary-designate for the Department of Health and Human Services.
As a consequence, the position of director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement remains vacant, and awaits the naming of a pick by the Trump team.
In the event President Trump signs an executive order temporarily banning the arrival refugees this week, as is widely expected, the language of that document will be carefully scrutinized by the bureaucrats currently running the program at the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, executives with the voluntary agencies, and activists who have long argued for a temporary or permanent ban on refugees.
Sources tell Breitbart News that the federal bureaucrats who run the refugee resettlement program and voluntary agencies who manage it at the local level have filled the pipeline with an extraordinarily high number of refugees literally waiting to get on the planes coming to the United States.
An executive order signed by President Trump ordering an immediate ban on the arrival of refugees, effective upon the date of the signing, is likely to meet huge resistance from the bureaucracy at the State Department and Health and Human Services, as well as the voluntary agencies.
Late Wednesday evening CNN tweeted “BREAKING: Trump will not sign orders regarding refugees or immigration from terror-prone countries, an official tells CNN.”
BREAKING: Trump will not sign orders on Thursday regarding refugees or immigration from terror-prone countries, an official tells CNN
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 26, 2017