by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees
September 18, 2017
The Trump Administration, which has been under pressure to provide a rationale for the recent reduction of the number of refugees allowed into the country, has rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services. The study found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost. The report contradicts an argument made by those interested in deep cuts in refugee totals.

As U.S. Retreats from Refugee Resettlement, Humanitarians Urge More Compassion for World’s Neediest

September 19, 2017

At the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump described the United States as “a compassionate nation,” and said that while America would continue to support refugees, he would rather they remain “as close to their home countries as possible.” This article then begins a Q&A with chief spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Melissa Fleming, where she highlights the challenges facing more than 65 million displaced people and 22 million refugees.

First Group of Refugees on Manus and Nauru to be Resettled in US
September 19, 2017
A group of refugees that had been detained on Manus Island and Nauru will soon be told that they have been accepted for resettlement in the U.S. “The cohort of about 50 people is the first to be accepted by the US government under a deal struck between the former president, Barack Obama, and Australia to take up to 1,250 people.”

Refugees Invited By Charity Make Themselves At Home In Trump’s Childhood Abode
September 19, 2017
“A welcome mat was literally rolled out for refugees resettled in the U.S. at a somewhat unexpected locale Saturday: President Trump’s childhood home.” The International charity, Oxfam, invited four refugees from three different countries to Trump’s childhood home in Queens, N.Y. for the day. Shannon Scribner, Oxfam America’s acting director for humanitarian programs and policy, said, “Oxfam hosted refugees at President Trump’s childhood home to declare that all people, refugees included, have the right to a safe place to call home.”

Military Spending

Senate Backs Massive Increase in Military Spending
September 18, 2017
The U.S. Senate has recently passed its version of a $700 billion defense policy bill. The bill backs up Trump’s call for a bigger and stronger military. The bill also sets the stage for a battle over government spending levels later in the year. “The Republican-controlled chamber voted 89-8 for the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, or NDAA, which authorizes the level of defense spending and sets policies controlling how the money is spent.” The bill provides around $640 billion for the Pentagon’s main operations (buying weapons, paying troops, etc.) and around $60 billion to fund the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.

The Senate’s Military Spending Increase Alone is Enough to Make Public College Free
September 18, 2017
The Senate’s overwhelming $80 billion annual increase in military spending would be enough to fund Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign pledge to make tuition free at public colleges and universities. The Senate instead handed Trump far more than the $54 billion he initially asked for, giving him a major legislative victory.