by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

How U.S. Refugee Resettlement in Each State has Shifted Since 2002
November 2, 2017
This article details the shift in refugee resettlement over the last 15 years. “The resettlement of refugees in the U.S. has been fairly consistent across the country since 2002, with no state resettling a majority of them.” In the fiscal year 2017, no state resettled more than 10 percent of the over 53,000 refugees accepted into the country. The article also described where the refugees have come from over the last 15 years. “Most refugees today come from the Middle East and Africa, but this has not always been the case.” In 2002, a majority of refugee came from the Ukraine and Russia.

Syrian Refugees to be Resettled in Dingwall
November 2, 2017
Families of Syrian refugees are now to be resettled in Dingwall in Scotland. The Highland Council has already resettled nine families in the area. “Four families were provided with homes in Lochaber earlier this year and five were given accommodation in Alness in Easter Ross in 2016.” Highland Council hopes to eventually offer housing to 25-30 families by 2020.

Canada – Funding Uncertainty Could Stall LGBT Refugee Resettlement, Advocates Say
November 4, 2017
The Liberal government said it is committed to bringing in more LGBT refugees into Canada, “but advocates say funding uncertainty, lengthy processing and lack of specialized training for visa officers are threatening resettlement efforts.” In the next year, Canada will bring in approximately 43,000 refugees, including lesbian, gay, transgender, etc. that are facing persecution. “Sharalyn Jordan, chair of the B.C-based Rainbow Refugee, said lives are at risk in nearly 80 countries which outlaw certain sexual orientation.” Her organization has resettled 95 sponsored LGBT refugees with the help of federal funding.

Australia Pressured to Resettle Stranded Refugees
November 5, 2017
Papua New Guinea’s immigration minister insisted that Australia accept New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees that were formerly detained in an Australian prison camp on Manus Island. “Almost 600 men have refused to leave the prison they were detained in until October 31 when food, water, and electricity were cut off.” They said moving to other locations on the island would put them at risk of attacks by locals.

St. Cloud Council Rejects Moratorium on Refugee Resettlement
November 7, 2017
The City Council of St. Cloud, Minneapolis has recently rejected a moratorium on refugee resettlement. “It’s the second vote in the last two weeks against council member Jeff Johnson’s proposal to block refugees until the primary resettlement agency… demonstrates that it is complying with federal statutes.” Johnson’s resolution failed a 1-6 vote and at the last meeting the council voted for a resolution that declared the city as a welcoming community.

Military Spending

Northampton City Council Passes Resolution Urging U.S. Congress to Reallocate Military Spending to Fund ‘Human and Environmental Needs’
November 2, 2017
The Northampton City Council unanimously urged the U.S Congress to reallocate military funds for “human and environmental needs.” The resolution states that “’fractions’ of the U.S. military budget could subsidize important public programs,” like free education through college, ending world hunger, and providing clean drinking water. Congress is currently conducting negotiations to allocate funds for U.S. military spending.

Trump, Democrats Vie With McCain on Whether Pentagon Should ‘Buy American’
November 5, 2017
The Senate Armed Services Committee led by John McCain has proposed language in to end long-held domestic sourcing protections which require the Defense Department to rely on American-made suppliers for certain national security purchases. The bill could allow foreign manufacturers a greater access to the U.S. shipbuilding supply chain as well as allowing them to bid on contracts for products such as circuit breakers, anchor and mooring chains, and vessel propellers and lifeboats. These opportunities have been restricted for years to U.S. firms.

With North Korea Threat Looming, Trump Seeks $5.9 Billion for Military
November 6, 2017
Trump has recently requested an increase of another $5.9 billion in the military budget as he continued his trip in Asia, aimed at countering what he called the “North Korea menace.” His request includes: $4 billion for a missile defense and detection system on the Korean peninsula, $1.2 billion to fund his request for 3,500 new U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and $700 million to repair two navy ships.