Kristie De Pena and Matthew La Corte write at the Niskanen Institute (abridged):
The 2020 Presidential Determination (PD) setting the annual number of refugee admissions at 18,000 is one of the administration’s most consequential decisions on immigration to date.
Over the course of the Trump administration, the refugee ceiling has dropped precipitously from 110,000.
For the first time in U.S. history, the federal government is allowing states to opt-out—or opt-in…, to the refugee resettlement program.
In the governing Executive Order, the White House asserts that state and local governments are in the best position to identify the ideal environments for refugees, to identify the communities that cannot accommodate refugees, and to know about their own resources and capacities.
It stands to reason, that some form of consent on the state and local basis should be required to resettle refugees.
For more than a year, rumors have been circulating that the administration would move to reduce the number of voluntary agencies (“Volga’s”) that administer resettlement programs for the U.S.
As the refugee cap has dropped significantly, many of the current nine agencies have faced cutbacks, office closures, and personnel reductions. The official termination of some number of voluntary agencies will only cement the long-term evisceration of an American system created to resettle robust refugee flows annually.
As a result of the declining admissions under the Trump administration, all nine resettlement agencies have had to close offices or pause their placement programs—chipping away at a system designed to not only place refugees but also help them integrate into communities across the country.
Press reports from across the country show the cratering resettlement system closing its doors. In fact, Refugee Council USA has reported more than 100 offices have closed nationwide halfway through FY19.
Read more here.