The Weekly Round-Up
The Weekly Round-Up
Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we learn that the rumored reduction of refugee admittance is one step closer to being a reality, about evangelical leaders speaking out against the move, about the different goals of the current administration, and how Europe is strongly in support of more refugee acceptance. Despite the United States policy toward refugees, the world is not becoming an easier place for those displaced by violence. The number of displaced people is higher than it has ever been, and the world needs safe countries to step up to be a refuge for those in need. For an administration that won the evangelical vote in a larger proportion than any of its predecessors, it continues to make cuts to what many in the evangelical community feel is a moral, Biblical and ethical responsibility to welcome refugees. The Briefing is a collaboration between Seek the Peace and We Welcome Refugees.
The Trump Administration is capping the number of refugees at 30,000 for the next fiscal year after the number had already been significantly reduced from past years. This is the lowest ceiling a president has placed on the number of refugees allowed into the country since the Refugee Act of 1980, and is a 50 percent decrease from last year’s level of 45,000 refugees. Under President Obama, that number was set at 110,000.
Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke about the further reduction in refugee numbers. “Seeing yet another drop in refugee numbers should be a shock to the conscience of all Americans,” he said. “One day we will be ashamed that we as a nation turned inward, and away from our great tradition of serving as a beacon of liberty to those fleeing for their lives.”
While past administrations treated the refugee ceiling as a goal and worked toward admitting that number, the current administration does not see the ceiling that way. While the ceiling is set at 45,000 for fiscal year 2018, fewer than 21,300 refugees have been admitted to the country with just a few days left in the fiscal year. Additional vetting expectations and fewer agents in other countries to interview potential refugees are some of the causes of the reduction.
In 2015, 1.3 million refugees sought asylum in Europe, and the issue accelerated the growth of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee groups and political parties, but a survey this week from the Pew Research Center reveals a different sentiment. The survey found strong majorities support of accepting refugees fleeing violence in seven of the 10 countries surveyed, including 82 percent in Germany and 81 percent in Sweden. The survey revealed that most were also not pleased with the way the EU handled the refugee crisis.