During the campaign, Trump boldly declared that America has become “a dumping ground for the rest of the world.” It was one of the statements that enraged the political class but endeared him to the forgotten people of America. Well, now it appears that he is greenlighting the ultimate dump of another country’s rejected, and likely dangerous, Islamic illegal aliens.
Many Trump supporters were hoping that yesterday’s stellar “America First” speech at the UN might portend a renewal of the promised agenda. Among other things, Trump spoke with moral clarity about the need to resettle refugees in the Middle East and not in the Western Hemisphere. Yet now it appears that he is not only keeping the refugee program, he is taking in the Muslim refugees rejected by Australia!
Today, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull informed the American people through the media that the first 50 of the 1,250 rejected Australian refugees from the Middle East will be arriving in America. Yes, we are now finding out information about the future members of our society from foreign countries, not our own government. According to Politico, Turnbull confided that Trump did have some reservations, “but nonetheless, he is honoring the commitment made by his predecessor.”
Where are the refugees, who are currently being held by Australia on Manus Island, originally from? According to Reuters, “from countries such as Bangladesh, Sudan, and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.” Almost all of them are grown men. As CIS’ Nayla Rush chronicles in a detailed report, many of the refugees are from countries that are already part of the immigration ban. She further records how local news reports and accounts from international medical experts show rampant problems with mental illness, violence, and rape allegations.
This deal must be stopped in its tracks immediately.
Trump’s pattern of “say one thing, do another”
Whether it’s the Iran deal, amnesty, or refugee intake, why is it that Republican presidents always feel the desire to honor commitments made by predecessors when they are detrimental to America? Democrats never use Republican governance as a legitimate baseline for their policies.
This demonstrates yet again that Trump has no sovereignty over his administration outside his office chair. He rails against his own administration’s decisions but continues to go along with them. In January, Trump reportedly told the Aussie prime minister of these refugees in a contentious phone call, “I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now.”
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Why does Trump feel compelled to give in? Why would we take in refugees Australia doesn’t want? Isn’t a deal two-sided? What are we getting in return? Can Australia take 1,000 of our illegal aliens? As part of the deal, Australia is agreeing to resettle some Central American refugees … who were never our responsibility or in our country anyway. They are in a refugee camp in Costa Rica! Is this the art of the deal in action?
Trump squandering opportunity for game-changing restructuring of refugee program
It is of utmost importance that Trump fulfill his promise on refugees because it is one of the few programs he can shut down without Congress. With much of the immigration agenda — from the wall and deportations to the immigration ban — in tatters thanks to judicial supremacy and the new focus on amnesty, this is the only area where Trump could make his mark and force a new policy baseline for the future.
Unfortunately, it appears that Trump is going to continue the program for FY 2018, setting the cap at 40,000 or 50,000. DHS is reportedly asking for 40,000, while the liberals at the State Department and Defense Department want a higher cap. As I noted earlier this month, why not go all the way and fulfill the principles of his speech by shutting down the Western refugee intake altogether and re-orienting the program toward regional resettlement?
President Trump drove home this point in his UN speech:
We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people, and which enables their eventual return to their home countries, to be part of the rebuilding process.
For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region. Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region, and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible. This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach.
But by setting the refugee cap at 50,000, and most certainly by letting in rejected refugees from Australia, Trump will lose the moral clarity on this issue. The next president will easily raise the cap back to 70,000-100,000 or even higher to make up lost ground. But if Trump were to boldly shut it down and shift the program to regional resettlement, he could finally take a page out of the Democrat playbook and force a paradigm shift for subsequent presidents.
The forgotten asylum crisis and the stealing of American sovereignty
Trump mentioned the word “sovereignty” 22 times in his UN speech, and for good reason.
Much of the political class overlooks the fact that we already have a refugee crisis on our hands through the asylum process. Unlike refugees who are brought here at the direction and discretion of our government, asylum seekers cross our border and petition for asylum on our soil. There are now 230,000 pending asylum claims, more than six times the number of just four years ago and ten times the number of 2009. As Politico notes, this is, in part, why DHS wants a lower cap on refugees. However, if the department were really serious about the problem, it would ask for no new refugees this year.
Asylum seekers come here completely unvetted, many from the Middle East, and remain here indefinitely and pose a great security risk and fiscal burden. Although “only” about 40,000 have been granted a path to citizenship every year, there are hundreds of thousands more who have been allowed to remain in our country by simply stating the magic words “credible fear” pending the adjudication of their cases. Just for FY 2017, 277,000 work permits have been granted to pending asylum seekers, after several hundred thousand had been granted during the previous two years.
This is stolen sovereignty, and it is unfair to the American people. This is not consent-based residence in our country; it is abuse of the original intent of the loophole. This loophole must be fixed and should be one of the many priorities put ahead of the clamor for an amnesty bill.
America continues to be dumping ground as Australia puts its people first
What is so tragically ironic is that these individuals in the Australia deal aren’t even refugees; they are another country’s illegal aliens. And rather than learn from Australia’s new “Australia First” immigration policies, we are allowing Australia to use those policies to dump on our country. After years of illegal immigrants arriving by boat from Islamic countries, Australia passed a series of laws in 2013 and 2014 barring any housing of illegal aliens on its mainland. So, this is not just a refugee policy. It is something we should replicate here.
Instead, we have millions of illegals flooding our shores, abusing our courts, and absconding from deportation hearings by disappearing into our populations. According to the DHS Inspector General, as of August 2016, ICE was overseeing 2.3 million illegal aliens who were released from detention, 368,574 of whom had prior criminal convictions but were allowed to remain in the country. Nearly one million have already received final deportation orders. Yet only a small percentage of this pool of illegals is deported in a given year.
As I note in my book, “Stolen Sovereignty,” throughout our history, we never allowed illegal aliens to remain on our shores without detention and we ensured that not a single one became a public charge or public safety concern for even one day. And before the courts became lawless, they ruled that any illegal entrant, “although physically within our boundaries, is to be regarded as if he had been stopped at the limit of our jurisdiction, and kept there while his right to enter was under debate” (U.S. v. Ju Toy, 1905). They also categorically rejected the notion that if an illegal alien “evaded the executive jurisdiction at the frontier and got into the country, he is therefore entitled to demand repeated rehearings on the facts” (Chin Bak Kan v. United States, 1902).
Indeed, there is a lot we can learn from Australia if we are unwilling to learn from our own Constitution, history, and traditions on sovereignty.
If only there was a way to convert Trump’s speeches into real policy, we’d truly make America great again.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.