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Flow of Refugees Slows, But Costs Are Still Unknown

The Star Tribune reports that the flow of refugees into Minnesota has slowed drastically since President Trump’s orders limiting travel from several countries. This chart shows the numbers:

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 1.10.49 PM

The reasons for the decline are unclear, since the president’s travel orders are being held up by Democratic Party loyalists posing as judges.

[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.
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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.”

This is truly topsy-turvy–criticizing the president for “thwarting the intent of the courts”! News flash for Mr. Schwartz: the courts aren’t supposed to have an “intent.” They are supposed to apply the law. In this particular case, plainly erroneous court orders were entered by grandstanding judges determined to thwart the intent of the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, we still don’t know how much Minnesota taxpayers are spending on programs that support refugees. The Star Tribune quotes Center Vice President Kim Crockett:

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.”

In fact, the state demographer says that most male Somali refugees are not working–at all–which means that program expenses continue to pile up. One thing we know for sure is that it is vastly more expensive to admit refugees to the United States than to care for and protect them nearer where they live. On humanitarian grounds, it is hard to see why refugee resettlement makes sense, when we could help so many more refugees by keeping them closer to home.

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