by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

The Year The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Unraveled
January 1, 2018
NPR features an article that outlines the recent year in refugee resettlement and how Trump has handled it. “The Trump administration is ‘trying to dismantle the program piece by piece. It’s clear they want a smaller program and not include some populations,’ says Jen Smyers, the advocacy director of Church World Service.”

Drop In Refugee Arrivals May Force U.S. Resettlement Offices To Close
January 2, 2018
State Department regulations may be forcing refugee resettlement agencies to downsize. World Relief, a major resettlement agency, has already closed five offices. These organizations rely on government funding to help new arrivals enroll kids in school, arrange doctor’s visits and get their immigration papers in order.

Years After Canada Opened its Doors, Thousands of Syrian Refugees are Still Waiting to Come Here
January 2, 2018
The processing time for Syrian refugee sponsorship has gone from 13 months to 19 months, with 20,000 applications somewhere in the queue. “Life is tough for the estimated 800,000 Syrian refugees stranded in Turkey, where they can work only illegally, often in exploitative conditions, while facing repatriation to Syria at any time.” As of early December, the Immigration Department said it was still processing applications.

Military Spending

As US Budget Fight Looms, Republicans are Suddenly Worried About Spending
January 2, 2018
With a sharp pivot underway among Republicans, U.S. Representative Mark Meadows drew a hard line on federal spending. “Lawmakers will begin trying to pass a federal budget in a fight likely to be linked to other issues, such as immigration policy.” Trump and his Republicans want a big budget increase in military spending, while Democrats want an increase for non-defense “discretionary” spending on programs that support education, scientific research, infrastructure, public health, and environmental protection.

NATO Defense Spending Started Increasing Three Years Ago
January 2, 2018
Countries overseas have responded to Trump’s foreign policy in a number of ways: opportunistically when Trump is on their side, over-the-top flattery when they want him out of the way, and simpleminded charts and pictures when they want to keep him from doing something unusually ‘stupid.’ “Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama deserve whatever credit there is for getting NATO members to stop reducing their military budgets.”