Letters to the Editor

As refugees flee violence and disasters, U.S. closes its door

Refugees from the war in Syria
Refugees from the war in Syria Associated Press

Jan. 27 marked the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s first travel ban, which prohibited immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the United States and banned all refugees from entry for four months.

Since then, U.S. immigration policy has been a tangle of challenges by appeals courts and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, uncertainties for resettlement agencies and sporadic admissions. As things now stand, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on immigration in April.

Meanwhile, in this era of huge numbers of people displaced by wars, disasters and persecution, what is happening to refugees who want to come to this country and may have endured years of vetting?

According to the Refugee Council USA, admissions have fallen to the lowest levels since the 1980s. In October, Trump capped refugee admissions at 45,000 for the fiscal year 2018, fewer than half the number admitted during the previous year.

Even so, the administration has been stealthily working to reduce reception of refugees even further. Only 5,323 immigrants were admitted during the first quarter of the fiscal year.

In today’s world, it does not seem fitting that our country has so severely constricted opportunities for legal immigration.

Martha Park