by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

The Trump Officials Making Abortion an Issue at the U.S.’s Refugee Office
October 26, 2017
During the past month, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, “in defiance of state and federal court orders, tried to keep a seventeen-year-old girl in its custody from having an abortion.” The young girl, described anonymously as “Jane Doe,” was living in an Office of Refugee Resettlement-funded shelter in Texas. State laws prohibit abortions after twenty weeks. “Blocking the girl’s abortion, the judges wrote, was a ‘grave constitutional wrong’… Jane Doe, who was nearly sixteen weeks pregnant, had the abortion before the government could further interfere.”

Under Trump’s New Refugee Ban, Nearly Half of Refugees Still Blocked
October 27, 2017
With the new ban on refugees from 11 countries, except of course in certain cases, the White House is blocking nearly half of all refugees admitted into the country each year. Refugees from countries like Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia, make up 43.48 percent of all the refugees admitted into the country in the fiscal year of 2017. “After its 120-day ban on refugees expired, the Trump administration resumed the program with new restrictions, including enhanced vetting for all refugee applicants and the additional 90-day review for those 11 countries.” Individuals from these countries will be considered for resettlement in the U.S. on a case-by case basis.

Refugee Resettlement Groups Adapt to Changing Times, Budget Cuts
October 29, 2017
Resettlement agencies have recently found it very necessary to reassess their needs; refugee resettlement has become increasingly more difficult and important since Trump took office. “Much of the agencies’ funding depends on how many refugees they resettle. When Trump scales back on the number of refugees admitted into the country, the agencies must scale back, too, or find other funding sources.” The decrease in funding has prompted them to get creative by looking up grants, fundraising, and creating partnerships with other agencies to keep offering services to Americans.

ACLU Sues Over Detained Immigrant with Cerebral Palsy
October 31, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Customs and Border Patrol for not releasing a 10-year-old undocumented girl who is suffering from cerebral palsy. The lawsuit filed is demanding that Customs and Border Patrol and the Office of Refugee Resettlement release the 10-year-old, Rosa Maria Hernandez. She was taken into custody last week after she was stopped on her way to get gallbladder surgery in Corpus Christi, Texas.  

Military Spending

Taiwan to Boost Defense Spending as U.S. Expresses Concern Over Possible Military Imbalance with China
October 30, 2017
“Taiwan will increase defense spending by 2 percent a year, President Tsai Ing-wen said during a visit to Hawaii where the United States expressed concern over a possible military imbalance in the Taiwan Straits.” If Taiwan purchases arms from a foreign military, the defense spending could increase as much as 3 percent a year and could possibly rise further than that.

30 Days Past the Deadline and With Lives on the Line, US Military Still Has No Budget
October 31, 2017
“Nearly a full month into the new fiscal year, the Department of Defense continues to operate without an approved budget, limiting the Pentagon’s ability to manage contracts, and hindering maintenance and training initiatives needed to save lives.” The article goes on to say that it is more damaging to the Department of Defense the longer the continuing resolution replaces the budget.