Elements within the Trump administration are considering implementing a freeze on the nation’s costly and troubled refugee resettlement program, according to sources within the administration.
White House policy advisor has been described as a key proponent of the plan. A full refugee resettlement pause could serve to reenergize the immigration patriots that served as the core supporters of Donald Trump’s historic 2016 Presidential campaign.
At a White House meeting to hash out the plan, Department of Homeland Security officials proposed a cap between 3,000 and 10,000 annual refugees. This would represent a dramatic change America’s massively generous annual refugee intake levels, which were counted at 33,000 in 2017. Refugee intake levels reached a whopping annual 70,000 during the Obama presidency.
Human rights experts and immigration skeptics have long questioned the effectiveness of the expensive and unpopular refugee resettlement program. The United States spends approximately $80,000 per refugee, a considerable allocation of funds that could possibly be used to help the global refugee population in a more efficient manner, such as building temporary housing and providing resources in areas closer to the home countries of refugees.
Existing programs are also riddled with fraud and abuse, having been susceptible to economic migrants posing as refugees. 56% of refugee households have been said to use food stamps, and 27% used cash welfare of some kind.
The global refugee population has swelled to 20 million people, making it unlikely that the United States could ever come close to housing even a sizable chunk of those driven from their countries by war, famine, drought, and other genuine humanitarian crises.
The Trump administration has already instituted drastic changes to the costly program, cutting annual levels by tens of thousands in part to concerns of national security threats from terrorist who have posed as refugees. A freeze on refugee resettlement, if actually instituted, could put a hefty feather in President Trump’s belt with some of his most loyal and passionate supporters.