by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Australians Demand End to Manus Island and Nauru Refugee Centers
March 25, 2018
In Australia, thousands of people marched in major cities all over the country protesting the government’s treatment of refugees and demanding an end to its controversial asylum seekers processing policies. “Under strict border control policies, asylum seekers who arrive by boat are sent to processing centers the Australian government manages.” Many have been waiting for years to be placed in a different country.

Cuts on 1 April Will Leave Asylum Seekers Homeless, Advocates Warn
March 25, 2018
Federal government cuts could mean homelessness and destitution for vulnerable asylum seekers in Australia. “Ninety-five advocate groups spoke out [recently] to oppose cuts to a program that provides an allowance, casework support, housing assistance and counseling to potential refugees.”  The cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service program will take effect by the start of next week.

‘City of Good Neighbors’: Students Examine Refugee Resettlement in Buffalo, N.Y.
March 26, 2018
As a capstone to the fall course, “The Ethics of Borders and Migration,” 11 Princeton undergrads and one grad traveled to Buffalo, New York to learn about the city’s resettlement efforts. “Over the past decade, Buffalo has become a major center for refugee resettlement in the Northeast, resettling about 12,000 refugees.” Buffalo’s willingness to accept refugees made it an ideal destination for these students.

Bill Shorten Has ‘No Interest’ in Changing Asylum Boat Turnbacks Policy
March 26, 2018
Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, says he has “‘no interest’” in changing Labor stance on asylum boat turnbacks. Labor leaders said, “The party had concerns about the treatment of asylum seekers in offshore detention, and that people were being held effectively in indefinite detention as a consequence of the Turnbull government’s punitive deterrence regime.” However, Short said he had no interest in revisiting the boat turnbacks issue.

‘Why We’re Paying the Rent for a Million Syrian Refugees’
March 26, 2018
European cash assistance schemes are aiding Turkey in managing millions of refugees. “Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country, including 3.7 million Syrians. The EU-funded cash assistance programme is designed to help a nation that is creaking under the strain.” The country is expected to stop migrants coming west, despite being too one-sided according to Turkish authorities.

Now Anyone Can Easily Send Items to a U.S. Refugee Family’s Home, Thanks to One Woman’s ‘Mama Bear Instincts’
March 26, 2018
About a year and a half ago, Miry Whitehill got a call from a neighborhood friend who met a family from Syria. They had a baby who needed a doorway harness. Whitehill knew parents passing the item around, found one on Facebook, and delivered the harness. Refugee organizations then started to contact her about helping additional families, so she set up a nonprofit, Miry’s List, that now employs six paid staff members and two dozen volunteers that have helped over 1,500 people and 272 families.

Military Spending

Congress Boosts Funds for Fighter Jets, Missile Defense in Military Spending Spree
March 23, 2018
Congress has added even more money for ships, aircraft, and missile defenses in what amounts to a spending spree on major weapons systems. “As part of the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill signed by President Trump on Friday, defense spending will jump to $700 billion, the largest increase in 15 years.” Some budget analysts fear the infusion of cash could galvanize the Pentagon to invest on new programs it won’t be able to sustain.

How The Pentagon Plans To Spend That Extra $61 Billion
March 26, 2018
Congress passed a spending bill giving the military an additional $61 billion. “Congress is letting the military spend a bigger chunk in the final two months of the fiscal year than is normally allowed (25 percent rather than the usual 20 percent).” The additional money can help the Navy buy 14 new ships, the Air Force can get 90 of its most advanced fighter jets, and the Army can receive dozens of new helicopters.

Trump Privately Presses for Military to Pay for Border Wall
March 27, 2018
Trump, who has repeatedly insisted during his 2016 election campaign that will be paid for by Mexico, is now privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of this project. “Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall.” He suggested Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional leaders that the Pentagon could fund the project.