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Top Obama Holdover at State Dept. Office of Refugee Admissions ‘On Temporary Duty in Puerto Rico’

Larry Bartlett Director of the Office of Refugee Admissions in the State Department’s Bureau of Population Refugees
C-SPAN/screenshot

A veteran State Department official who was on Breitbart’s February list of removable Obama holdovers has been reassigned to Puerto Rico, at least temporarily.

Lawrence Bartlett, who has served as the Director of the Office of Refugee Admissions in the State Department’s Bureau of Population Refugees since 2010, is now working out of an office in Puerto Rico, not the State Department’s offices in Washington, DC.

“Larry Bartlett is on temporary duty in Puerto Rico assisting FEMA with hurricane recovery efforts. Mr. Bartlett has more than 25 years of experience in humanitarian and development work, including experience working on natural disaster relief,” a State Department spokesperson told Breitbart News on background.

“While Mr. Bartlett is on temporary duty in Puerto Rico, Deputy Director Kelly Gauger is Acting Director in PRM’s Office of Admissions,” the spokesperson added.

“A longtime official with PRM [Population Refugees and Migration], Bartlett has been an active apologist for the refugee resettlement industry for many years,” Breitbart News reported in February, adding:

“Communities certainly have a say in what happens [with regards to refugee resettlement locally],” Bartlett told an audience at a public forum in 2015, an assertion strongly disputed by opponents of the federal refugee resettlement program.

“We would not bring refugees to any city in the United States that wasn’t going to be safe for the refugees,” he added.

“I put a little twist on that on purpose,” Bartlett continued.

“I am certainly, as someone who is resettling a refugee, would not take them to a place where I felt the refugees themselves, was going to be unsafe … The point is, if this was not a welcoming community, refugees wouldn’t be coming here. ”

“That helps answer rumors we have heard that Mr. Bartlett has been removed from his position in the Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration because of tensions with the White House,” Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch tells Breitbart News.

“We’ve also been hearing rumors that the voluntary agencies who are contracted and paid by the federal government to resettle refugees are in a panic because the number of refugees who have been admitted this fiscal year under the Trump administration has been drastically reduced, and they believe their longtime ally and promoter, Bartlett, is on his way out and can do nothing about those reductions,” Corcoran added.

As Breitbart News reported this month:

November is the second month of FY 2018, the first full fiscal year of the Trump administration. In October, the first month of FY 2018, 1,248 refugees were admitted into the country, one of the lowest levels of monthly refugee arrivals in decades.

Though [612] more refugees were admitted in November than in October, the combined total of refugees admitted during the first two months of FY 2018–[3,108]–represents a run rate that, if maintained for the remaining ten months of the fiscal year, would result in less than 20,000 new refugee arrivals, a number that is less than half of the 45,000 refugee ceiling for FY 2018 set by President Trump in September.

Refugee admissions for the first 14 days of December are up slightly, totaling 1,494, bringing total refugee admissions for the first two months and 14 days of FY 2018 to 4,602, which puts refugee admissions on a run rate that would result in about 23,000 for FY 2018, significantly below the 45,000 refugee ceiling President Trump announced in his September determination and well below actual admissions of 53,716 in FY 2017 and 84,995 in FY 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration.

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