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(CNSNews.com) – Two senior Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter reminding the Trump administration Wednesday that it is obliged to consult with Congress on its planned refugee admission numbers for the coming fiscal year – and has less than three weeks to do so.
Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) expressed concern about reports that President Trump is considering setting an “abysmally low” ceiling of 50,000 refugees in FY 2018.
Letter - Secretary - State - Rex - Tillerson
In a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, Feinstein and Durbin pointed out that U.S. law requires the administration to consult with Congress before the start of each fiscal year on its refugee admission plans for that year.
“To date, we have not received a proposed refugee admissions plan for fiscal year 2018 or received any cooperation from your agencies in scheduling the refugee consultation,” they wrote, asking for that to happen promptly.
Immigration - Nationality - Act - President - Report
The Immigration and Nationality Act requires the president to submit a report to the House and Senate Judiciary committees before the start of each fiscal year, on the “foreseeable number of refugees” needing resettlement in the coming year and the “anticipated allocation of refugee admissions.”
“To the extent possible,” that should take place at least two weeks before “appropriate consultation” ensues, in the form of discussions with designated cabinet-level representatives, the INA says.
Passage - Refugee - Act - Refugee - Admission
Since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980, the annual refugee admission cap set by administrations has never been as low as the 50,000 Trump is reported to be considering. The lowest ceiling over that period was 67,000 in 1986.
Actual admissions did fall well below the ceilings in the years after the 9/11 terror attacks, dropping to 27,131 in FY 2002 and 28,403 the following year...
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