Bureaucrats at the State Department brought 500 refugees into the country on Tuesday, one day before President Trump “is expected to order a multi-month ban on allowing refugees into the United States except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place,” according to Reuters.
The temporary ban on refugees will be one of several executive orders on immigration President Trump will sign on Wednesday, Reuters reports. “Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.”
Two hundred and twenty-six of the 500 refugees resettled in the United States on Tuesday, or 44 percent, came from six of those seven countries, according to the State Department’s interactive website, as reported at 11:00 p.m. eastern on Tuesday: Syria (81), Iran (51), Iraq (46), Somalia (43), Sudan (4), and Yemen (1). No refugees from Libya were resettled in the United States on Tuesday.
From the beginning of FY 2016 on October 1, 2015 until January 24, 2017, a total of 115,879 refugees have been resettled in the United States, according to the State Department’s interactive website.
Fifty-two thousand and sixty-nine of those refugees, or 45 percent, came from those seven countries: Syria (17,341), Iraq (14,613), Somalia (12,914), Iran (5,278), Sudan (1,887), Yemen (32), and Libya (4).
On the campaign trail, candidate Trump promised to suspend refugee resettlement from Syria, as well countries that are hostile to the United States.
Legal experts agree that President Trump has the legal authority to issue an executive order banning the resettlement of refugees in the United States.
One such expert, “Stephen Legomsky, who was chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration, said the president had the authority to limit refugee admissions and the issuance of visas to specific countries if the administration determined it was in the public’s interest, Reuters reported:
“From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights,” said Legomsky, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. “But from a policy standpoint, it would be terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.”
Voters who elected Donald Trump to become the 45th President of the United States, however, agree with his plan to ban refugees from coming to the United States with the exception of those fleeing religious persecution, at least on a temporary basis.
In several national and state polls conducted in the weeks before the November election, voters were opposed to increasing the number of refugees coming to the United States by more than a two to one margin.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton, the Democrat nominee for President defeated by Trump, favored increasing the number of Syrian refugees allowed to resettle in the United States by 500 percent.