Refugee Resettlement

Religious Refugee Resettlement Agencies Say Trump’s Travel Ban Was ‘Net Loss’ For U.S
January 25, 2018
Faith-based refugee resettlement agencies were among the first to speak out against Trump’s plan to drastically cut refugee admissions to the U.S. “The Christian refugee agency World Relief, a humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, issued a strong condemnation…of the ‘various incarnations of the travel ban.’” Six of the nine voluntary agencies the federal government tasks with resettlement are faith-based, and spoke up for refugees over the last year.  

Home to 14 Refugees, a Vermont City Still Grapples with the Resettlement Debate
January 27, 2018
Rutland, a tiny city in Vermont, drew national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign for its plan to accept 25-30 refugee families. “Many of Rutland’s residents, led by then-Mayor Christopher Louras, wanted the refugees here. It was a moral duty, they said, and a way to revitalize and diversify a fading city.” Rutland’s final family arrived in June after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the ban’s partial implementation.

Sundance Refugee Films Shine Light on Life After Resettlement
January 28, 2018
At the Sundance Film Festival, a documentary film recounting the attempts of several Syrian refugees at building a new life in Baltimore helped to shed light on refugee resettlement. The film titled, “This is Home,” is directed by Alexandra Shiva and, through a grant, the entire cast was invited to the film’s premiere.

Refugee Resettlement Resumes, but with New Conditions
January 29, 2018
The Trump administration announced recently that it is resuming all refugee admissions, implementing new security vetting processes for the 11 ‘high-risk’ countries. “‘We will be rolling out new security measures from high-risk countries which will seek to prevent the program from being exploited by terrorists, criminals and fraudsters,’ said Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen during public remarks today.”

The Majority of Australians Support Refugee Resettlement in New Zealand
January 29, 2018
The majority of Australians support the resettlement of Manus Island and Nauru refugees in New Zealand. “A Sky News Australia poll…found 58 per cent of those surveyed supported the refugees being resettled in New Zealand.” 19 percent opposed the move and 23 percent were undecided.

Military Spending

Trump Plans to Ask for $716 Billion for National Defense in 2019 — a Major Increase
January 26, 2018
Trump is expected to ask for $716 billion in defense spending for the 2019 budget next month. This is a major increase that signals a shift away from concerns about rising deficits. “The proposed budget is a victory for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who recently unveiled a strategy that proposes retooling the military to deter and, if necessary, fight a potential conflict with major powers.” It represents a setback for deficit hawks.

House Passes Stand-Alone Defense Spending Bill
January 30, 2018
The House recently voted to approve a stand-alone defense appropriations bill, which is likely to fail in Senate. “The House passed the bill ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night, in which he is expected to tout the need for increased spending on defense.” The vote was 250-166, with 23 Democrats joining Republicans to pass the bill, and four Republicans against it.