The bully-in-chief lashes out at refugees | Editorial

Updated Sep 27, 2019

The country is riveted on a scandal that could bring down a president, as he threatens the whistleblower at the center of a new push for impeachment.

And now, in the midst of this, he’s thrown a dash of cruelty: A drastic new cap on the number of refugees allowed to enter America.

The number of people we take in who are fleeing violence and persecution will be slashed by almost half under President Trump’s executive order, down from the current limit of 30,000; a fraction of the 110,000 that President Obama said we should take in.

No president from either party has ever cut the numbers so harshly. Trump’s order also allows local politicians to ban refugees, like Chris Christie tried to do, when he said we wouldn’t even resettle an orphaned five-year-old here.

Then, it was just a lot of hot air. Now, a governor or mayor pandering to their resident xenophobes would actually have the power to keep refugees out of their communities.

Church World Service, the second largest resettlement group in New Jersey, says it’s already been starved out of the business of resettling refugees in our state, mostly due to Trump’s Muslim ban.

Given that a major portion of the few refugee slots that remain under Trump are set aside for specific categories of people, like Iraqis who worked with our military, it leaves virtually no room for those fleeing unanticipated crises, like the Rohingya dying in camps in Myanmar, whose government has tried to erase their very existence.

Trump’s sociopath-in-residence, Stephen Miller, argues this is all necessary because of the number of asylum seekers at the Mexican border. That’s complete bunk. Refugees are screened and vetted before they even arrive in our country. And illegal crossings at the border have actually been decreasing.

What this represents is an assault on our country’s core values, Rev. John McCullough, the president of CWS, said in a statement: “With one final blow, the Trump administration has snuffed out Lady Liberty’s torch and ended our nation’s legacy of compassion and welcome.”

Or maybe Trump has simply sparked a bigger fire elsewhere.

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