by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement:

Refugee Admissions to U.S. Plummet in 2017
January 3, 2018
Despite battles in court and vocal opposition, Trump still managed to slash refugee admissions into the U.S. “From Inauguration Day to Dec. 31, his administration accepted 29,022 refugees, the lowest number since at least 2002.” This decline will continue into 2018 because Trump instituted an annual cap of 45,000 refugees a year.

Akron’s Refugee Resettlement Programs Brace for New Immigration Restrictions
January 8, 2018
Both of Summit County’s resettlement agencies are likely to survive the Trump administration’s latest restructuring, but they are dealing with major changes in numbers, policy, and expectations. “The primary reason is President Trump. He set the limit for refugees allowed in the U.S. at 45,000, down from more than 100,000. And he’s throttled even further back on those from eleven, mostly Muslim, countries.”

New Trump Refugee Policies Could Close More Than 20 Catholic Charities Resettlement Offices
January 9, 2018
After decades of helping refugee families become settled, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque announced that it is getting out of business. “Donna Markham, O.P., president and C.E.O. of Catholic Charities USA, is concerned that the Dubuque refugee office is only the beginning of what could become a nationwide shuttering of other small refugee resettlement efforts.”

Exclusive: Senior State Dept. Refugee Official Sidelined
January 9, 2018
A U.S. official who has defended refugees has been sidelined within the State Department in what some advocates and former officials fear is “part of the Trump administration’s goal of limiting refugee resettlement in the United States.” Lawrence Bartlett, head of refugee admissions at the State Department’s Population, Refugees and Migration bureau, is on temporary assignment at another office.

Military Spending:

Week Ahead: Defense Spending Ties Up Budget Talks
January 8, 2018
Following the inclement weather, the Senate will be jumping back into a familiar task: funding the government before a shutdown. “The stopgap spending measure lawmakers passed last month funds the government through Jan. 19, giving Congress eight legislative days to avert a government shutdown.” Also looming are cuts known as sequestration, which will go into place in mid-January if Congress does not reach a deal.

Trump’s New “Buy American” Plan Pushes Diplomats to Promote American Weapons Deals
January 8, 2018
The Trump administration will unveil a new “Buy American” plan as early as February. It will use U.S. diplomats to help promote billions of dollars worth of weapons deals. “The ‘whole government’ plan would attempt to loosen restrictions on the export of U.S. military equipment to foreign countries.”

Will the Government Shut Down Next Week? It’s Possible.
January 8, 2018
Some budget experts reported that there’s a 50/50 chance that a shutdown will happen under Republicans’ watch. “Congress has until Jan. 19 to pass a spending bill, either a short-term one that keeps the lights on for a few months or a longer-term one that funds the government for the next year.” The experts say, though, that it’s more likely than not that Congress will pass some sort of measure to keep the Government open.