(photo credit: Reuters)
Refugee Ceiling Surpassed – Still 2 Weeks To Go
Anne Corcoran over at Refugee Resettlement Watch has done an amazing job keeping us updated on what is happening with the refugees.
She recently explained to us how the Supreme Court changed refugee law when it gave permission for the ceiling to be surpassed.
The President sets the CEILING for refugee admissions each year (this is a cap!). President Obama set the ceiling for FY17 at 110,000 in his final months in office (he never set it that high in his previous 7 years). Donald Trump’s EO reset it at 50,000.
In July of this year, we were at 49,803 according to Wrapsnet.
However, the Supreme Court confirmed the 50,000 with a caveat. Anyone who could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a relative in the US or to an “entity” could come in above the 50,000 cap.
Did the Supreme Court take it upon itself to rewrite refugee law?
There is a mechanism in the Refugee Act to go above the cap, but it sure doesn’t involve the courts. The President must determine that there is an emergency and he must consult with Congress—not the courts—to go above the ceiling.
Corcoran now tells us that the FY17 refugee ceiling has been surpassed by 2,282 refugees. We are still two weeks away from the new fiscal year!
This is significant because never in the history of the Refugee Act of 1980 has a CEILING been breached. That happened because the US Supreme Court unconstitutionally changed refugee law when it set exceptions to its concurrence that Trump did have the legal right to cap refugee numbers.
As we wait for the Presidential determination for FY18, these are the number of refugees we have and where they went. We broke through the 50,000 ceiling in July. 2,282 have been added since.
Corcoran tells us, based on her research, that since 1983 (over 30 years!), no President has exceeded the ceiling, but many of them came in way below the limit previously set.
From the 2007 ORR Annual Report to Congress a chart (p.4) showing CEILINGS and numbers actually admitted going back to 1983.
From there, you can pick it up from 2007 to 2017 from Wrapsnet. Have they ever surpassed the cap in more recent years? NO!
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