1,984 July Refugee Admissions Put U.S. on Pace for Record Low this Year

Congolese tanks and thousands of displaced people stream into Goma in eastern Congo, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. Thousands of refugees started streaming into the eastern provincial capital of Goma in the afternoon, impeded by army tanks, trucks and jeeps pulling back from the battle front.
AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

A total of 1,984 refugees were admitted into the United States in the month of July, bringing the number arriving in the country for the first ten months of FY 2018 to 18,214.

Should that rate of refugee arrivals continue for the final two months of the fiscal year, the total number of refugees admitted to the United States for FY 2018 will be less than 23,000, the lowest annual admission level in the more than three decades since the enabling legislation, the Refugee Act of 1980, was passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Jimmy Carter.

The majority of July’s refugee admissions–1,013–came from a single country: the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ironically, a Congolese immigrant to the United States was arrested last month for scaling the Statute of Liberty as a protest of President Trump’s immigration policies, as Breitbart News reported:

A Congolese woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty to protest President Trump’s immigration policies said in a Thursday press conference she was inspired by Michelle Obama.

“Michelle Obama … said when they go low, we go high. And I went as high as I could,” Statue of Liberty climber Therese Patricia Okoumou told reporters outside Manhattan Federal Courthouse Thursday.

Okoumou, who came to the United States in 1994 from the Democratic Republic of Congo, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct Thursday before a judge released her on her own recognizance.

After emerging from the courthouse, Okoumou took the opportunity to bash the president and his “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration.

“Trump has ripped this country apart. It is depressing. It is outrageous,” she said. “His Draconian zero-tolerance policy on immigration has to go.”

It was not clear whether Okouma arrived in the United States in 1994 through the Refugee Admissions Program or through some other immigration mechanism.

Two other countries, Ukraine, with 268,  and Burma, with 250,  accounted for more than 25 percent of the other refugee arrivals in the Unites States in July.

Only 20 refugees were admitted from the seven countries identified as “hotbeds of terrorism” in President Trump’s January 2017 Executive Order 13769 that initiated the entire travel ban controversy that ended in a Supreme Court victory for the Trump administration: Syria (7), Sudan (5), Iraq (5), Iran (3), Libya (0), and Yemen (0).


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