by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement:

Supreme Court Allows Trump to Keep Blocking Refugee Resettlement
July 19, 2017
The United States Supreme Court will allow President Donald Trump to enact part of his Muslim Travel block refugee resettlement. “The Court stayed part of a lower court order that broadly exempted from the ban refugees who are in the process of being resettled.” This means that the stay will remain in effect until the ban case is resolved in the U.S Court of Appeals for the ninth circuit.

As Refugee Arrivals Dwindle, Resettlement Agencies Face Cuts
July 18, 2017
As the resettlement process has halted, local resettlement agencies are facing exponential cuts and are struggling to keep programs above water. This article refers to the Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts which, like many other agencies, receives funding on a per-capita bases from the federal government. And with fewer refugees comes less money for these programs.

U.S. Hits Refugee Admissions Quota for the Year
July 12, 2017
The quota for refugees admitted into the country for the 2017 fiscal year has been reached at 50,000 refugees. This is set to radically reduce admissions going forward. The quota was reinstated when the Supreme Court upheld certain elements of the ban. Of course, refugees with a bona fide relationship with any person in the country should be allowed in. Still, “Refugee applicants overseas with a ‘credible claim’ of such a bona fide relationships are still being interviewed and vetted.”

Trump Refugee Restrictions Allowed for Now; Ban on Grandparents Rejected
July 19, 2017
The Supreme Court let stand a court order from Hawaii that grandparents and other relatives who want to travel to the United States to visit family must be admitted while the case continues on. “The justices, in a brief order, rejected the administration’s request that it clarify the scope of their decision last month temporarily reinstating the ban but allowing people with ‘a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States’ to enter the country.” The Federal District Court in Honolulu ruled that the administration’s approach had disregarded who counts as a close family member.

Military Spending:

House Surpasses Trump’s ‘Historic’ Proposal for Military Spending with Massive Defense Bill
July 14, 2017
The House has passed a bill that will “blow through long-standing military spending caps.” The defense policy bill will exceed Trump’s budget request by $18.5 billion. The National Defense Authorization Act will allocate $696 billion to the military in the 2018 fiscal year. Trump had only requested $603 billion. Republicans are supporting this bill by claiming it as the first step in ‘rebuilding’ the U.S. military.

New GOP Budget Would Increase Military Spending, Cut Taxes
July 18, 2017
The House Republicans revealed a 10-year budget blueprint that would steadily increase the military spending budget that also favors Medicare cuts. Budget Chairman Diane Black authored the plan that would “pave the way for overhauling the U.S. Tax code this fall” as well as cutting spending for programs like food stamps.

U.S. Military Spending $130K a Month to Rent Trump Tower Space
July 18, 2017
The U.S. military is spending $130,000 a month to rent a space in Trump Tower for the White House Military Office. This comes as a surprise as Trump has not stayed at this property for months. “The lease rate being paid by the military is far above the typical rate for such a space, making it one of the most costly real estate rentals in Manhattan.”