The Weekly Round-Up
The Weekly Round-Up
Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we look at interfaith groups protesting the United States’ treatment of refugees, an unreleased study about the economic impact of refugees, a humanitarian crisis and the end to Palestinian aid in the Middle East. Caring for the safety and economic well-being of the United States should be the priority of elected officials, but there should also be consideration of the country’s moral and humanitarian role in the world. When study after study reports that our country is not only economically improved but also safer because of refugee communities here, one has to question the reasoning for such a drastic reduction in resettlement numbers in the country. The Briefing is a collaboration between Seek the Peace and We Welcome Refugees.
With the number of accepted refugees in doubt moving forward, several faith-based groups gathered outside the White House in order to demand that the current administration increase the number of refugees welcomed to the United States to 75,000 in 2019. The interfaith protest included both Jewish and Christian religious leaders.
In the course of reducing refugee numbers, officials disparaged a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that said that refugees brought in $63 billion more than they cost in government revenues between 2005 and 2014. White House officials called the study illegitimate and politically motivated.
As the United States considers slashing its refugee numbers by 40 percent, advocates are calling the move an abandonment of the country’s humanitarian obligation, especially in the face of 30 million refugees worldwide. The refugee resettlement numbers are likely to be their lowest since 1980, when the current system began.
The United States has decided to no longer support a UN program for Palestinian refugees that helped run schools, clinic and other services for a group of people that were driven from their homes when Israel was formed 70 years ago. The UN says there are 5.4 million Palestinians who are descendants from those displaced Palestinians who demand the right to return to their homeland.