Flow of Refugees Slows to a Trickle

News reports indicate that illegal immigration has dropped sharply since President Trump’s inauguration, even though no progress has been made in building the wall. Similarly, it appears that the flow of refugees has declined, even though the president’s travel orders, including his reduced ceiling on refugee admissions, has been tied up in the courts by partisan judges. The Star Tribune reports: “Minnesota’s refugee stream slows to a trickle.”

The pace of refugees arriving in Minnesota slowed markedly in recent months, even though President Trump’s executive order pausing resettlement remains mired in the courts.

Arrivals hit a low of 66 statewide in March, roughly one-fifth the level of a year ago, before rebounding slightly in April. Somalis, who last fall were a majority of refugees in the state, made up less than a quarter of last month’s arrivals, based on new data from the State Department.

This chart shows the numbers:

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The reasons for the decline are not clear, but it seems that fewer refugees are being interviewed overseas:

[T]here is speculation that federal vetting of new refugees is grinding to a halt. A recent Washington Post article cited Homeland Security officials who said their department has stopped interviewing refugees overseas — a key prerequisite for resettlement.

Which led to this wonderful quote by a disgruntled liberal:

Eric Schwartz, outgoing dean of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School and a former Obama administration resettlement official, said the uncertainty is “deeply troubling.”

“If the administration has decided that the way they are going to implement the executive order is simply to stop interviewing people,” he said, “then they will succeed in thwarting the intent of the courts.”

The horror! A president trying to “thwart the intent of the courts”! I think, rather, a couple of liberal activist judges are trying to thwart the intent of the president.

The Strip quotes one of my colleagues at American Experiment. We have been trying to find out the costs to taxpayers of supporting refugees in Minnesota. Suffice it to say that it isn’t easy to get the data:

But for those who cheered Trump’s move, the monthly arrivals are frustrating. At the Golden Valley-based Center of the American Experiment, Vice President Kim Crockett says Minnesota could still hit the 2,200 to 2,300 range of some recent years.

Crockett has pressed for a fuller accounting of state and local resettlement costs. She said the executive order would have offered an opening to explore both cost and the cultural integration of refugees. The recent case of a Michigan doctor charged after performing genital mutilation on two Minnesota girls revived such questions, she said.

“Minnesota is culturally predisposed to generously offer our home to all strangers, no matter their religion or culture,” she said. “But we are naive if we think new arrivals can easily assimilate and become productive citizens.”

Of course, if there is one thing Minnesotans can properly be accused of, it is being naive.

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