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One Week After Supreme Court Order, Very Few Additional Refugees Have Arrived in the United States

Very few refugees have been resettled in the United States in the week following the Supreme Court order that stayed a lower court’s reversal of President Trump’s 50,000 annual ceiling for refugee arrivals in FY 2017.

The 50,000 ceiling for refugees established by President Trump in Executive Order 13780 was reached by the close of business on July 12, when a total of 50,113 refugees had arrived for FY 2017, which runs from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, according to the Department of State’s interactive website.

On July 13, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ordered a halt to both the Trump administration’s narrow definition of close family (he added grandparents), as it applied to both the temporary travel ban and the temporary refugee ban, as well as the 50,000 annual refugee ceiling:

 U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled late Thursday in favor of the state of Hawaii’s motion to overrule the Trump administration’s definition of “bona fide relationship.” This allows grandparents and other distant relatives of American residents to arrive in the country as refugees from any country and travelers from six Middle Eastern countries temporarily banned from arriving in the United States under Executive Order 13780. . .

Watson also sided with the state of Hawaii, which has resettled only three refugees so far in FY 2017 and none in FY 2016, and granted its motion to define a “bona fide relationship” between an individual or an entity as including a promise made by a federally funded refugee resettlement agency to relocate the foreign national in the United States as a refugee.

“An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s touchstones: it is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers responsibilities and obligations, including compensation, it is issued specific to an individual refugee only when that refugee has been approved for entry by the Department of Homeland Security, and it is issued in the ordinary course, and historically has been for decades,” Watson wrote.

From July 14 to July 19, 49 refugees arrived, as Breitbart News reported on the day the Supreme Court handed down its decision:

The District Court order modifying the preliminary injunction with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance is stayed pending resolution of the Government’s appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

On July 19, the Supreme Court stayed “The District Court order modifying the preliminary injunction with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance . . . pending resolution of the Government’s appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.”

In the seven days between July 20 to July 26 (as of 8:00 p.m. eastern), 148 refugees arrived in the United States. Interestingly, a little more than half of those arrivals–75–were from a single country, the Ukraine.

Even more interestingly, 119 of these refugees, or 73 percent, were Christian–Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Seventh Day Adventist–and 39, or 27 percent, were Muslim.

As of 8:00 p.m. eastern on July 26, a total of 50,391 refugees have been resettled in the United States in FY 2017.

In FY 2016, 44 percent of the 84,995 refugees who arrived in the United States were Muslim. So far in FY 2017, from October 1, 2016 to July 25, 2017, 42 percent of the 50,391 resettled refugees have been Muslim.

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