The Weekly Round-Up

The Weekly Round-Up

Posted on in Refugees.

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Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we learn about how refugee agencies are adapting to lower numbers, the removal of a policy that helped families stay together, the evangelical church’s conflicting ethos about refugees and how a Trump staffer lost her job after disagreements about the impacts of refugees. The Briefing is a collaboration between Seek the Peace and We Welcome Refugees.

Shifting missions

Refugee resettlement is down 70 percent relative to this time last fiscal year, and refugee agencies all over the country are laying off employees or closing completely. Others are adapting to assist immigrants dealing with deportation orders, working with green card holders who want to become citizens and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients who need help paying renewal fees.

More families separated

The Trump Administration recently closed the Central American Minors program, which was created in 2014 to respond to unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern US border. It allowed immigrants who were lawfully in the country to apply to be refugees on behalf of their children under 21 living in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The program was a factor in helping keep families together.

Evangelical evasion

The evangelical establishment has shown resistance to the Trump Administrations policies toward refugees, with church leaders using biblical arguments asking the US to be more welcoming to refugees. But even as leadership makes their voices heard, 76 percent of white evangelicals supported the travel ban, and a recent poll says that only 25 percent of evangelicals thought the US should be responsible for refugees, which is the smallest proportion of any racial, age, educational or religious group.

Paying the price

John Bolton runs the Trump Administration’s National Security Council, and he recently fired Jennifer Arangio, NSC’s senior director for international organizations and alliances. She clashed with the administration over studies that showed that neither refugees nor immigrants have harmed the economy, and even though she was a fierce Trump defender, she was removed.