Bureaucrats at the State Department brought in an additional 526 refugees in the seventeen hours between midnight and 5 p.m. eastern on Thursday.
The continued inflow is a bureaucratic challenge against President Trump’s campaign promise to temporarily ban refugees from Syria and other countries hostile to the United States.
Press reports on Tuesday said Trump was expected to sign an executive order announcing a four-month temporary ban on refugees from all countries, starting some time this week.
An additional executive order, reports indicated, is expected to block visas from seven Middle Eastern countries: Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Iran, and Iraq.
Trump has signed a number of other executive orders in an action-packed “shock and awe” first week on the job, but the expected temporary ban on refugees has not been among them.
On Thursday, the president traveled to Philadelphia, where he addressed a retreat of Republican members of Congress, then returned to Washington, where he was expected to sign another executive order.
Fox Business reported at 4:38 p.m. eastern the executive order would be “dealing with extreme refugee vetting.” At 4:42 p.m. eastern, the network revised that report, stating the extreme refugee vetting executive order “was delayed until tomorrow.”
As of 5 p.m. eastern on Thursday, President Trump had not signed any new additional executive orders during the day.
The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that a number of top administrators at the State Department, including Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, departed on Wednesday.
It was not clear whether these resignations were voluntary or requested by the incoming Trump administration.
“While this appears to be a large turnover in a short period of time, a change of administration always brings personnel changes, and there is nothing unusual about rotations or retirements in the Foreign Service,” the American Foreign Service Association said in a statement on Thursday.
Since Tuesday, when reports of the impending refugee ban were first published, bureaucrats at the State Department have brought in a total of 1,613 refugees to the United States: 575 on Tuesday, 512 on Wednesday, and 526 up to 5 p.m. eastern on Thursday.
Of the 526 refugees who arrived in the United States in the seventeen hours between midnight and 5 pm Thursday, 47 percent, or 250 out of 526, arrived from the seven Middle Eastern countries in which President Trump is expected to block visas. The countries were Syria (79), Sudan (11), Somalia (85), Yemen (0), Libya (0), Iran (46), and Iraq (29).
On Thursday, Breitbart News emailed Barbara Day, a bureaucrat at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) responsible for distributing refugees to their various destination locations around the United States subsequent to their arrival in the country. Breitbart asked these two questions:
1. In light of President Trump’s campaign promise to suspend the arrival of refugees from Syria and countries hostile to the United States, and numerous press reports since Tuesday of a pending executive order placing a temporary ban on refugee arrivals from all countries, are you at the State Department defying Presidential directives by bringing in more than 500 refugees a day each day this week since Tuesday, including today?
2. By what authority can you justify your actions bringing in over 1,600 refugees into the United States this week when you are fully aware these actions are contrary to the stated policy positions of the current President of the United States?
“Barbara Day, the Domestic Resettlement Section Chief at the DOS Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration. . . is the person in charge of resettling refugees into your towns and cities,” as Ann Corcoran reported at Refugee Resettlement Watch in June:
Day is also an example of the revolving door between federal contractors and the agencies from which they get their federal funds. Day came originally from Lutheran Social Services of SD and then to a perch at headquarters—Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) —before getting her present position at the US State Department in 2005.
As Breitbart News reported previously, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services is one of the leading voluntary resettlement agencies (VOLAGs) who are paid more than $1 billion a year by the federal government to manage the resettlement of refugees across the country.
Ms. Day did not respond by the deadline for the publication of this story.
As of yet, the Trump administration has not been able to place its management team at the State Department.
“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,” as Breitbart News reported previously.