by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

December 5, 2017,
Bangladesh: Rohingya Refugees Are Being Trained to Save Lives
Aid organizations are struggling to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 625,000 Rohingya refugees who fled military crackdown in Myanmar. “A growing number of refugees being trained basic medical and rescue skills by the Australian voluntary organization, Backpacker Medics Disaster Response Group.” There are not enough medics to provide basic healthcare in refugee camps near Bangladesh.

December 8, 2017,
Trump Lifts Refugee Ban, But Admissions Still Plummet, Data Shows
In late October, Trump lifted a ban on most refugee admissions, but the number of refugees admitted to the country has plummeted. “In the five weeks after the ban was lifted, 40 percent fewer people were allowed in than in the last five weeks it was in place.” As the ban was lifted, Trump instituted new rules for tougher vetting of applicants and halted the entry of refugees from 11 countries deemed high risk.

December 8, 2017,
EU Sues Visegrad Three Over Refusal to Abide with Refugee Resettlement Plan
The European Commission is suing Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary for failing to fulfill their obligations regarding the European refugee relocation program. “The refugee relocation plan was adopted in 2015 and envisaged the relocation of 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to the rest of the EU.” The Law and Justice government insists Poland will not accept migrants from Africa and the Middle East.

December 11, 2017,
Group: Refugees Abused by Border Forces in Balkans
Refugees and migrants attempting to cross from Serbia into neighboring European Union countries have also endured illegal deportations and police violence. “The findings by German monitor, Rigardu, paint a grim picture of systematic abuse on the borders of Serbia.” The group said it had documented at least 857 instances of people subjected to violence, 52 of those incidents included minors.

December 12, 2017,
LDS Church Donates Another $5M for Refugee Resettlement
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated $5 million for the second straight year to the nine voluntary refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S. “the money will be used during 2018 by the nine agencies that have agreements with the State Department to provide reception and placement services for refugees who arrive in the United States.” The donation comes from the church’s LDS Humanitarian fund.

Military Spending

December 12, 2017,
Trump Signs $700B Defense Policy Bill into Law, Says Military has ‘Gotta be Perfecto’
Trump recently signed into law the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion defense policy bill that would him to pursue a major military buildup. “While the act sets official policy, actual funding comes from appropriations, which Congress is still wrestling with as it faces a Dec. 22 deadline to come up with a budget deal that raises spending caps.”

December 12. 2017,
Military Spending Bill Provision Reduces Deportation Risk for Immigrant Recruits
The defense authorization bill signed by Trump also includes a measure to shield immigrant recruits from enlistment contract cancellations and subsequently deportation as they wait for background checks, “a positive development in the year-long effort by advocates and lawmakers to keep skilled non-citizens as a reliable recruiting pool.” The amendment gives active-duty immigrant recruits one additional year to wait for background checks to be finalized before basic training.