by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Cuban Refugees Who Clung to Keys Lighthouse Finally Find Freedom
August 25, 2017
Twenty Cubans who have been dealing with a months-long legal battle in order to stay in the US after a “brief standoff on a Lower Keys lighthouse” have been granted asylum in Australia. They had previously been staying at a US Navy base in Guantanamo Bay. The group had “climbed the structure after their vessel was confronted by a U.S. Coast Guard patrol.”

President Trump’s Refugee Ban is Splitting Our Family Apart
August 28, 2017
Tianna and Todd Rooney were looking forward to housing an Eritrean refugee until the ban put an abrupt stop to their plan. “We promised to care for this child, and all of a sudden we were no longer allowed to keep that promise,” writes the Rooney couple. The unnamed refugee has a room ready for his arrival, whenever that may be.

Appeals Court Appears Inclined to Exempt Relatives From Travel Ban
August 28, 2017
A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court indicated that it would continue to allow grandparents and other relatives of US residents to travel to the country from six predominantly Muslim countries. However, “the judges were less forthcoming about their views on exceptions to a second part of the ban, suspending the nation’s refugee program.” The Supreme Court has agreed to decide on whether the ban was lawful and it is scheduled for October 10.

Military Spending

Trump’s Afghanistan Troop Increase Adds to $1 Trillion in War Costs
August 23, 2017
Trump’s decision to add more troops to the ongoing war in Afghanistan will add billions of dollars a year to a war cost that is already pretty steep, topping $1 trillion over the past 16 years. “And the government will still be paying for war veterans’ health-care costs for at least another half century.” Direct US spending on the war will rise to an approximate $840.7 billion if Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget is approved.

Military Budget Stuck Between a Wall and a Hard Place
August 25, 2017
The Pentagon will be looking forward to weeks and possibly months of uncertainty when it comes to the budget, which is “shaping up to be the most turbulent budget drama for the military in years.” The armed forces are caught in apolitical war between Trump’s border wall and the defense budget, by which the latter’s spending may go into the wall spending. Trump even went as far as threatening to shut down the governments if Democrats would not fund his proposed wall.