by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Australia Disappointed by Delay in US Refugee Resettlement
July 20, 2017
Australia was disappointed to hear that hundreds of its rejected refugees would not be resettled in the U.S. this month under the deal struck with Barack Obama prior to Trump taking office. The U.S. was set to take asylum seekers from Iran, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka who have spent over four years in immigration camps in impoverished Pacific island nations.

Due to Trump Actions, Maine to See Fewest Refugees Resettled in 7 Years
July 21, 2017
The organization that helps refugees transition to life in Maine is expecting half the number of people to resettle than was originally planned this year. Catholic Charities of Maine planned on helping resettle 685 refugees from around the world by September, but now only expects roughly 350 to arrive. This drop will bring Maine to the lowest number of resettled refugees since 2011 and it is a direct result of the Trump administration’s reduction in the number of refugees allowed in the United States.

Federal Government Broke Promises Over Refugee Resettlement Deal with US
July 24, 2017
The United Nations’ refuge agency has accused the Federal Government of a breach of trust regarding the Refugee deal in the United States. They said that it has broken a promise to resettle refugees with close familial ties to Australia. Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the organization ‘exceptionally’ agreed to help resettle refugees on Nauru and Manus Island in the U.S. due to ‘dire’ humanitarian situations that were faced.

Australia to Accept First Central American Refugees Under U.S. Deal
July 25, 2017
Australia will be accepting several dozen Central American refugees in the next coming months. This will mark the first transfers under a controversial refugee swap arrangement agreed upon with the U.S. An unspecified number of Central American refugees will be allowed in under a deal struck with former President Barack Obama last year. In exchange, Washington said it would accept up 10 1,250 asylum seekers held in Australian immigration centers in the Pacific Island nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru that will be closing.

Military Spending

Supporting the People’s Budget Would be a Step in the Right Direction
July 21, 2017
A letter to the editor that supports the idea of a budget proposal that “would boost the economy for all of us while cutting the number of people in poverty in half.” According to the proposal, money would be invested in safe and productive infrastructures, education, affordable housing, health care and nutrition, childcare, and working-family tax credits among others. It calls for an investment of $2 trillion of the U.S. budget that comes from other, unnecessary areas.

President Trump Commissions New ‘Supercarrier’ While Pressing for More Military Spending
July 22, 2017
President Trump saw the commissioning of the Navy’ newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, as an opportunity to make a pitch toward the increasing of the military budget. He said to a crowd of sailors and their families, “We must end the Defense sequester once and for all.” He is proposing a $54 billion increase in defense next year while also cutting domestic programs. The carrier has also suffered a number of cost overruns and delays equaling up to $12.9 billion.

Trump: Congress Should ‘Do its Job’ and Pass Defense Budget
July 22, 2017
Along with using the commissioning ceremony for the new USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier to push an increase in the military spending, Trump also included slamming Congress. He claimed, “We need Congress to do its job.” He has also gone on to say, “Pass the budget that provides for higher, stable and predictable funding levels for our military needs that our fighting men and women deserve.” Trump also asked for $20 billion in emergency defense spending on top of the $54 billion increase for the military next year.

The Fast-Approaching Defense Budget ‘Train Wreck’
July 24, 2017
Congressional Republicans who are aiming to boost the military spending by tens of billions of dollars are facing a major issue: “Their efforts would run afoul of the law.” The bills moving in the House and Senate may go beyond the defense buildup that Trump pledged and will provide money to soldiers, fighter jets, warships, and missile defenses than what was initially requested. “Those proposals exceed the limits imposed by a 2011 budget law, demanded by Republican budget hawks, that caps spending and requires annual across-the-board cuts to rein in deficits.”