US admitted zero refugees in October amid Trump's attack on immigration


Taxpayers will be forced to foot the bill for canceled air travel.

Zero refugees were resettled in the month of October, CNN reported on Tuesday, effectively stranding hundreds of people at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

The Trump administration put a pause on admitting refugees in October, forcing officials to cancel 500 flights for those who were already set to come to the United States. According to CNN, "additional travel will need to be canceled and re-booked" using taxpayer dollars.

The outlet reported that the pause in resettling refugees is also problematic for some, whose paperwork — such as medical and security clearances — could expire before the pause is lifted.

The move also comes as thousands more refugees flee northern Syria, following a Turkish military invasion that the White House effectively greenlit earlier this month.

Donald Trump and members of his administration, including adviser Stephen Miller, have frequently vilified refugees, suggesting without proof that they bring crime and other issues when they resettle in the United States.

In reality, according to a draft report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2017, obtained by the New York Times, refugees "'contributed an estimated $269.1 billion in revenues to all levels of government' between 2005 and 2014." Overall, the Times reported, "the net fiscal impact of refugees was positive over the 10-year period, at $63 billion."

That report was reportedly later changed before being sent to Trump, and only included the cost of admitting refugees, not the benefits. According to the Times, Miller himself intervened to change the report, though the White House denied Miller's involvement in a statement to The New Yorker at the time.

In September, the administration announced it would slash the number of refugees allowed to come to the United States to 18,000 — a historic low. Under former President Barack Obama, 110,000 refugees were admitted, according to the Times.

Miller, the author of Trump's Muslim travel ban, reportedly wants to ban the admittance of refugees altogether.

By pausing refugee admittance at taxpayers' expense, Miller is partly achieving that goal, while at the same time further endangering vulnerable groups fleeing war and persecution across the globe.

"We are systematically re-traumatizing people who have already been through a significant amount of trauma," Danielle Grigsby, interim director of Refugee Council USA, told CNN. "It's unconscionable."


Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.