From Conservative Institute
Former President Barack Obama invited thousands of refugees — created by his own bad foreign policy — into the United States. But with President Donald Trump in the White House, things are going much differently.
The U.S. admitted only 44 Syrian refugees in the last six months since the fiscal year began in October 2017, according to State Department figures. It’s a precipitous drop compared to the 6,000 admitted during the same time frame last fiscal year, most of whom were admitted before Trump was inaugurated.
“Additional vetting mechanisms”
America had accepted more than 20,000 Syrian refugees since 2011, including 2,000 during Trump’s tenure, before tapering off to almost zero in the new fiscal year. This low number was attributed by the State Department to a more scrutinizing refugee policy.
“The process is a little bit slower because additional vetting mechanisms have been put in place,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters last Tuesday.
An October executive order established more rigorous vetting procedures for refugees from Syria and 10 other countries, mostly in northern Africa and the Middle East. The new numbers mark a major change from Obama-era figures.
Obama set the total refugee cap at 110,000 for FY 2017, the highest cap since the early 1990s, and he accepted more than 18,000 Syrian refugees between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2016. Trump cut the total refugee cap to no more than 45,000 for the new fiscal year, its lowest since the current refugee program began in the 1980s, and less than half of Obama’s threshold. America has since resettled some 11,000 refugees, including the 44 from Syria.
Making good on promises
During his campaign, Trump criticized Obama’s lax refugee policy, promising tougher vetting and restrictions in the interest of national security. He set to work on this shortly after taking office, with a travel ban that temporarily cut refugee admissions from certain countries believed to be terrorism hotspots while halting all refugee admissions from Syria indefinitely.
Trump’s policies have also affected the religious make-up of refugee admissions: 40 percent of refugees identified as Muslim in previous years, but in the first three months of FY 2018, just 14 percent of refugees were Muslim; the number of Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists has gone up.