Trump Administration Faces Legal Action Over New Refugee Resettlement Limit

The International Refugee Assistance Project, which two years ago filed a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban involving seven predominately Muslim countries, is seeking legal action over a new White House executive order limiting the number of refugees being admitted into the United States.

Last week, Trump announced a new refugee resettlement ceiling of 18,000 for 2019, a little more than half of the 30,000 refugees that were resettled last year and significantly less than the 85,000 refugees that were resettled in the final fiscal year of the Obama administration—the highest number admitted under his tenure.

Trump’s executive order shifts authority to accept refugees from the federal government to state and local jurisdictions, a move that resettlement agencies maintain will lead to confusion and possible discrimination.

“Under this new policy, a governor or locality may block refugees from being resettled in their jurisdictions even if a community of people stands ready to welcome them, even if family members have been awaiting their arrivals, even if resources and opportunities available make it the best place for those refugees to rebuild their lives, and even when the desire to keep them out is based on where they are from, the color of their skin, or how they pray,” the complaint reads.

IRAP filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on Monday in an effort to seek answers on how the new refugee policy was created and clarity on how it will be implemented. The New York-based agency provides legal aid for refugees and displaced people worldwide and is one of nine nonprofit agencies authorized to resettle refugees in the U.S. The Trump administration has indicated it would also cut the number of authorized refugee agencies, but no further details on that aspect have been released.

According to the Christian Post, the decline in refugee resettlement has prompted all nine resettlement agencies to close down offices.

Dan Kosten, assistant director for skills and workforce development policy and advocacy at the National Immigration Forum, said decentralizing authority could create a “bureaucratic nightmare.”

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Source: Christian Headlines