DEFENSE/IMMIGRATION/MIKE POMPEO/REFUGEES/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “It has been strange and unsettling to watch how much effort the Trump team has put into damaging the U.S. government’s own refugee resettlement program, but give them points for effectiveness. On Monday [9-17-18], Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the refugee ceiling for the coming fiscal year will be 30,000. It is the lowest number in the history of the nearly 40-year-old resettlement program. In so doing, he answered the depressing question experts have been asking for the past several weeks: Would the administration stay put at the record-low level it set for itself in 2018—45,000 refugees—or seek to plumb new depths in the coming year? In any normal administration, the State Department, which runs the refugee resettlement program, would have led the charge in arguing for a number that better represents the United States’ capacity and humanitarian traditions—something closer to the historical average of 80,000. But in the Trump era, allies of immigration uber-hawk Stephen Miller have occupied key positions at State, virtually guaranteeing that leadership would not come out of Foggy Bottom. Instead, it was reportedly left to the Department of Defense to point out what is actually true: Refugee resettlement creates goodwill, rewards the loyalty of local partners who risk their lives to help U.S. personnel in places like Iraq, can help stabilize host countries bordering conflict zones, and makes it easier to ask the states bearing the brunt of the refugee burden to stretch even further in the humanitarian support they provide.”

Robert Malley and Stephen Pomper, “Trump’s Refugee Fiasco,” Politico, September 18, 2018