by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

How Stephen Miller Single-Handedly Got the U.S. to Accept Fewer Refugees
October 13, 2017
“Stephen Miller, the thirty-two-year-old former aide to Jeff Sessions who has become Trump’s top immigration adviser,” is the White House official behind Trump’s historically low refugee cap. Miller was able to maneuver a number of powerful factions in the federal bureaucracy and squelched evidence that didn’t support his aims.

Chile Becomes Latest Country to Resettle Syrian Refugees
October 13, 2017
Chile has now become the newest country to accept and resettle Syrian refugees. 66 Syrians recently arrived into the Country from Lebanon as part of the refugee resettlement program led by the Chilean government. “In Santiago the refugees were welcomed by the country’s president, Michelle Bachelet, as well as UNHCR’s regional representative, Michele Manca di Nissa.” Two different communities will be hosting them.

Rohingya Refugees Fleeing Myanmar Await Entrance to Squalid Camps
October 18, 2017
Almost two months after the Muslim Rohingya began fleeing a military-led campaign of the violence occurring in Myanmar, thousands of refugees continue to mass on the Bangladesh border. “An estimated 582,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when the military began a wave of rape, killing and village burning following attacks on security posts by a Rohingya militant group.” The United Nations high commissioner for human rights has called this campaign a “‘Textbook example of ethnic cleansing.’”

Military Spending

Trump Sees Power as Military Strength — and Nukes as the Apex of that Power
October 11, 2017
Recently, NBC News reported that Trump sought a dramatic increase in the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal. “It’s a position that runs contrary to recent presidential administrations, during which international treaties were developed with the aim of reducing nuclear weapon stockpiles around the world.” However, a request to boost our nuclear capabilities is compatible with Trump’s idea of power. “[Rex] Tillerson is adhering strictly to what Trump wants to see from the diplomatic arm of his administration.”

McCain to Vote ‘Yes’ on 2018 Budget
October 17, 2017
Senator John McCain recently said that he intends on voting for the 2018 budget resolution, essentially assuring that the measure will pass without incident. “McCain had been holding out support based on an insistence that defense spending increase by billions of dollars.” McCain went on to say, “for too long, draconian budget cuts to the military have crippled readiness and put the lives of our service members in danger.” Final spending number for the year are expected to go into negotiation between congressional Republicans and Democrats and the White House ahead of a December 8 funding deadline.

Trump Touts ‘Historic’ Hike in Military Spending While Budget Still Mired in Uncertainty
October 17, 2017
Trump told an audience gathered at the conservative Heritage Foundation that the U.S. has passed increases in its defense budget in pursuit of  “what Ronald Reagan termed peace through strength.” Trump was apparently referring to the non-binding House budget resolution passed early in October that anticipates $622 billion for the defense in 2018. “The president has at various times referred to budget proposals in Congress as the set level of spending for 2018, but in actuality, the defense budget remains deeply uncertain as federal caps are set to hold base spending at $549 billion.”