· The United States isconsidered the dominant world power and continuously pushes a democratic agendaonto the entire world by force, yet it has had a declining number of admissionsof refugees for decades.
What can explain this ironic happening? · Throughout history therehave been countless catastrophic events, treacherous wars and inhumanedictators, which the United States has led the global fight against time andtime again. The United States is seen as the police of the world and thedemocratic leader of the free world, yet when it comes to refugee admission andto acceptance of the populations displaced by American liberation, the dominantworld power falls embarrassingly short. Refugee admission numbers are thelowest they have been in decades and the progress made by the Refugee acts of1965 and 1980 is being dismantled and torn apart. The untied States iscurrently moving backwards in terms of refugee admittance and the backlog ofthe asylum claims is unfathomable. There are several reasons for the severedecline of refugee admissions into the United States which can be explained bygovernment policy, global conflict, economics, public opinion as well aspolitical agendas.
· Since congress hadpassed the Refugee act of 1980 which created the Federal Refugee ResettlementProgram and the current national standard for the screening and admission ofrefugees into the country, over 3 million refugees have been admitted into theUnited States and yet today in 2017 the numbers are lower than ever. Aside from the fall of communism which was amajor key role in the high number of admissions from communistic countries,there has also been an increase in global terrorism which has forced thegovernment of the USA, or more specifically the president to pass executiveorders which ban the entrance from Muslim majority countries believed to play arole in terrorism. This was very similar to the immediate decrease in MuslimRefugee admissions following the 9/11 attacks. (2)· I have been readingdifferent News Paper articles from over the years and using Google Scholarsearching for literature which I can use. I have read about how many refugeehave received the short end of the stick aside from the ones escaping communismand how many times the United States would choose specifically who they wouldallow to enter and who they would turn back like with Haiti.
I am stillsearching and finding new literature but plan to spend this entire weekenddoing nothing else but finding exact and concrete literature which I will use andwhich isn’t all dated. The literature also talks about how the terroristattacks changed America forever and how the number of Muslims coming needs tochange. Talks about the threat to national security and how the feelingstowards the Muslim fate needs to change. This is perfect for me as one of mytopics for why I believe the number of admissions is declining is because ofxenophobia so it goes hand in hand and hopefully will help me find exactly whatI need. It also talks about · The Roots of American Refugee Policy is about thechange in refugee policy for the beginning towards the time the book waswritten which is 1988 so it helps me as it covers a good amount of time which Iam interested in. It talks about how the refugee policy started in the USA andhow it changed with the policy reform in 1965 and 1980. It also talks about howthere was civil unrest during the rejection of certain groups which I will tryand mix in my idea of the xenophobia and rejection of Muslims(3)· I have been looking at data from theDepartment of homeland security as well as data from the PEW research groupwhich breaks down the refugee admissions by country and/or continent of originand the numbers of refugees admitted into the United states within the last 30years.
I have also been reading news articles from sources like the New YorkTimes, The New York Post, and online sources such as Russia Today and BBC. Ihave spent a good amount of time reading scholarly articles from professorsfrom Harvard University and Columbia University. I have been researching anddocumenting various polls on both public opinions on refugee admissions andpublic opinion of the policies passed by presidents former and presentregarding the admittance of refugees also from the PEW research group. (4)· Historically,there has always been a fluctuation of the total number of refugees enteringthe United States due to global events and the addenda and priorities of theUnited States.
Between the years of 1990 and 1995, there was an annual averageof 112,000 refugees arriving in the United States, which the majority comingfrom former Soviet Union countries. However, following the terrorist attacks ofSeptember 11, the number of refugees admitted dropped to 27,000 in 2002. Thisnumber has since risen but has still not reached what it was back in the 1990’sand has continuous declining rates. (This talks about how the numbers havedropped and is affected by global events.
)· Amajor factor for the United States high levels of refugee admissions at the endof the twentieth century was communism. In 1980 a huge wave of refugees enteredfrom Cuba. They were called Marielitosand were picked up by boats operated by Cubans already in the United States. Bythe time the U.S. government halted the exodus, about 130,000 had arrived.
Instead of using immigrations laws President Carter instead created conditionentrants which gave the Cubans a limbo status. Under the Cuban Adjustment Act,they were allowed to change their status. This made the entire nation start toquestion the immigration policy and begin to realize that it was not working asintended. The fact that Fidel Castro had sent his worst, including criminalsand mental patients also made the citizens of the Untied States very uneasy anddispleased. (talks about how the USA always favoredrefugees escaping communism)· Inthe recent years, the highest number of refugees admitted has been underPresident Obama when 84,995 refugees in 2016. Which was the more than any otheryear during his administration.
U.S. From fiscal years 2002 to 2016, theUnited States admitted 399,677 Christian refugees and 279,339 Muslim refugees,meaning that 46% of all refugees who have entered the United States during thistime have been Christian while 32% have been Muslim. (talks about how Obama was Pro Refugee andhad a positive impact on immigrations reform.)· The United States public has seldom approved ofaccepting large numbers of refugees.In October 2016, 54% of registered voters said the UnitedStates does not have a responsibility to accept refugees fromSyria, while 41% said it does.
There was a wide partisan gap on this measure,with 87% of Trump supporters saying the United States doesn’t have aresponsibility to accept Syrians, compared with only 27% of Clinton supporterswho said the same. U.S.public opinion polls fromprevious decades show Americans have largely opposed admitting largenumbers of refugees from countries where people are fleeing war and oppression.
(talks about how the public doesn’t think theUSA has a responsibility and does not favor Muslim refugees, or people fleeingwars and oppression.) · TheTrump administration has announced that it will reduce the number of refugeesallowed into the united states to less than half of what Barrack Obama hadproposed for the current year. They cut the number from 110,000 to 45,00 andbroke the numbers down by region where Latin America and the Caribbean are onlyallowed 1,500 and South Asia and the Middle East are only allowed 17,500.Unlike previously, this cap does not include an unallocated reserve quota forunforeseen events which may occur. This is the lowest cap in decades for theprogram and marks an extremely steep decline from recent years. This is blamedon the security and safety of the American people.
Safety being a chief concernfor the Trump administration, this is supposed to increase the peace of mindfor American Citizens and is consistent with the foreign policy goals andoperational capacity in light of additional security vetting procedures and tocombat the domestic asylum backlog that the department of homeland security isfacing, (this talks about the trump administrationlowering the cap and how their foreign policy is drastically affecting refugeeadmissions.) (5)