A new report reveals the number of refugees resettled monthly in 46 U.S. states declined sharply in Fiscal Year 2017. Refugee resettlement dropped abruptly following President Donald Trump’s January inauguration. The drop is most pronounced in Texas and California.
The nonpartisan Pew Research Center reviewed data from the U.S. State Department and reported Thursday that the numbers of refugees resettling in the U.S. had dropped nationwide from 9,945 in October 2016 to 3,316 in April 2017.
Besides Texas and California in the first and second spots, Michigan and New York have also seen marked decreases. These states were followed by Arizona, Washington, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
California, Texas, and New York were three of the 10 states that resettled the most refugees in the fiscal year 2016, and they have seen the biggest drop.
Texas experienced a 68 percent reduction in the number of refugees received. That number in California was 58 percent. Michigan and New York saw a 70 and 68 percent cut respectively from October to April.
Although there was an abatement during this six-month period, the number of refugees that arrived in April rose 60 percent to 3,315 when compared to the 2,070 in March.
Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch appeared skeptical of the report’s true meaning. She noted the decline is from a historical peak under the Obama Administration and said October was the “largest month (by far) of any fiscal year in the past 11.”
“I also had a chuckle as I read the Pew story about how the numbers are plummeting in Texas, but not a mention that the state withdrew from the program and that although it is up and running now (without the state government), the transition to the Wilson-Fish program did cause a slight slowdown,” Corcoran wrote in a post on Refugee Resettlement Watch’s website. “Texas is still the number 2 state behind California for refugee admissions this year.”
President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13780 on March 6 capping the number of refugees coming into the U.S. at 50,000. The Obama Administration had set that number at 110,000. The March executive order revoked and replaced the original order issued on January 27 which was signed by the president just seven days after he was sworn into office. As reported by Breitbart News, the new order was designed to also temporarily block migrants from six conflict-prone countries and to freeze arrivals for 120 days.
Corcoran noted that had the President’s order been allowed to stand, “That would have caused ‘plummeting’ admission numbers.” She reported the federal government is on pace to admit approximately 60,000 refugees this fiscal year. “Compare that to Bush in 2007 and Obama in 2011 and 2012 — all three years under 60,000,” she concluded.
On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sitting en banc issued an opinion and upheld a block from a federal district court in Maryland against the executive order. Three of the judges dissented. Judge Paul Niemeyer chastised the majority for impermissibly expanding its review from the text of the executive order itself, Breitbart News reported.
Niemeyer stated the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited such appellate review, and the intermediate appellate court looked to statements made by presidential candidate Donald Trump and other “extratextual search for evidence suggesting bad faith, which is exactly what three Supreme Court opinions have prohibited.” Judge Niemeyer wrote, “The majority, now for the first time, rejects these holdings in favor of its politically desired outcome.
The Pew report from Thursday noted, “If the new ceiling were in place, the U.S. could resettle a maximum of 7,586 refugees during the final five months of the current fiscal year, which ends in September.”
The report by the Pew Research Center released on May 25 ends with the statement:
For U.S. resettlement, the International Organization for Migration and the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement work with voluntary agencies such as the International Rescue Committee or Church World Service to resettle refugees. These agencies have offices across the country and resettle refugees across many states. After 90 to 180 days, financial assistance from federal agencies stops.
Breitbart News reported in February that U.S. taxpayers would expend more than $4.1 billion in the 2017 budget to support the 519,018 refugees resettled in the country since October 2009.