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Biden signs order, will raise yearly cap on refugees to 125,000 — more than 8 times as many as under Trump

President Joe Biden announced plans on Thursday to raise the yearly cap on refugees accepted into the country to 125,000 — more than eight times the number accepted last year under President Trump.

Biden made the announcement alongside issuing an executive order intended to rebuild and enhance the nation’s refugee resettlement program, which he argued was left in tatters by the previous administration.

“Today, I’m approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need,” he said. “It’s going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged, but that’s precisely what we’re going to do.”

“This executive order will position us to be able to raise the refugee admissions back up to 125,000 persons for the first full fiscal year of the Biden-Harris administration,” he added.

Under President Trump in fiscal year 2020, the cap on yearly refugee admissions was 15,000.

The order is just the latest in a string of recent initiatives related to immigration pushed by the new administration. Since assuming the presidency, Biden has made it a priority to reverse course from Trump, who during his four years in office sought to serve America’s interests by reining in the open-door immigration policy embraced by modern Democrat politicians.

Last June, on World Refugee Day, Biden released a statement condemning Trump’s stance on immigration, saying, “Fear-mongering, xenophobia, and racism are the unabashed tenets of Trump’s refugee and immigration policy.”

Then in November, Biden declared, “It is not enough to simply reverse or dismantle the heartless policies of the Trump administration,” adding, “We need to look for ways to do better.”

According to a report from the United Nations refugee agency, only approximately 23,000 refugees were accepted across the globe last year despite there being “an estimated 1.44 million refugees in urgent need of resettlement.” More than half of the refugees accepted were admitted by the United States, according to the State Department. Nevertheless, Trump has continually been criticized by the left for restricting admission in recent years.

It should be noted that according to an analysis published by the Center for Immigration Studies last year, the average refugee costs U.S. taxpayers between $60,000 and $133,000 over the course of the refugee’s life.

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Sen. Cruz blocks Hong Kong refugee bill, blasts Democrats for being soft on Chinese Communist Party

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) lambasted his Democratic colleagues in a speech on the Senate floor Friday, denouncing their support for a bill to give refugees from Hong Kong temporary protected status as a cynical ploy to undermine U.S. immigration law.

On Dec. 7, 2020, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed “The Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act,” a bill that designates Hong Kong as a TPS-designated country for 18 months; increases the number of immigrant visas the U.S. will permit from Hong Kong; and permits individuals who had a “significant role in an organization that supported the 2019 or 2020 protests related to China’s encroachment into Hong Kong’s autonomy or the Hong Kong National Security Law enacted in 2020” or “was arrested, charged, detained, or convicted for participating in the nonviolent exercise of certain rights” to establish that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution” that can be used to seek refugee status to the United States.

On Friday, Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) asked for unanimous consent to pass the bill in the Senate, but Cruz objected, blocking the bill.

In his speech on the Senate floor, Cruz accused Democrats of exploiting the crisis in Hong Kong to make changes to U.S. immigration law.

“This is not a Hong Kong bill. It is instead a Democratic messaging bill, because House Democrats made, I think, a cynical decision to try to exploit the crisis in Hong Kong to advance their long standing goals [of] changing our immigration laws,” Cruz noted.

He accused the bill of posing a national security risk by giving the Chinese Communist Party an opportunity to send spies to the United States.

“This bill […] would dramatically lower the standards for both refugee and asylum status to the point where individuals would qualify even if they cannot establish an individualized and credible fear of persecution,” Cruz asserted. “There is particular risk when doing so [because] we know [it] would be used by the Chinese communists to send even more Chinese spies into the United States.

“Last I checked, when the Chinese communist government sends spies into our country, they’re quite willing to concoct a bogus background portfolio of materials,” he said.

Citing recent reports that U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) became romantically entangled with an alleged Chinese spy and that Swalwell was one of several U.S. politicians to be targeted by this spy, Cruz demanded that Congress aggressively confront the CCP.

“We just recently had news of Chinese spies targeting members of Congress, targeting prominent Democrats. This is an espionage threat America faces of our adversaries taking advantage of our laws and targeting our leadership,” Cruz said. “The truth also is that China has confiscated passports and I’m told, stopped issuing exit visas to persons deemed problematic. As a result, China is highly unlikely to let actual dissidents leave Hong Kong.

“We urgently need to have a real substantive bipartisan conversation about countering the Chinese Communist Party, about defending the United States of America, about standing up and winning this battle. This bill doesn’t advance that objective,” Cruz proclaimed.

The Texas senator offered two of his own pieces of legislation for the Senate to consider as alternatives to confront the Chinese Communist Party. His first bill, the SCRIPT Act, would target Hollywood studios that censor films for screening in China on behalf of the communist government. Cruz accused Hollywood of being “complicit” in China’s censorship and propaganda, citing several examples of films that were edited to remove material deemed objectionable by CCP authorities.

“The only reason the SCRIPT Act isn’t passing is because the Senate Democrats are objecting,” Cruz charged. “It should not be lost on anybody that the Hollywood billionaires who are enriching themselves with this Chinese propaganda are among the biggest political donors to today’s Democratic Party.”

The second bill Cruz put forward is the SHAME Act, legislation that would sanction CCP officials for the atrocities committed against Uighur Muslims, including forced sterilizations and abortions.

“The SHAME Act focuses in particular on human rights atrocities. It focuses on over a million Uyghurs in concentration camps and other religious minorities [like] the Falun Gong practitioners, who are captured and murdered and whose organs are harvested,” Cruz said, describing his legislation.

“My Democratic colleagues like to say on the question of abortion, they are pro-choice. Well, the Chinese government right now is engaging in forced sterilizations and forced abortions — taking Uyghur mothers and forcing them to abort their children against their wills. Whatever the Democrats’ views on abortion in the United States is a matter of a woman’s choice, surely, they must be united in saying a government forcing a woman to abort her child, to take the life of her unborn child, is an unspeakable atrocity,” he continued.

“The SHAME Act does something very simple — it imposes sanctions on the Chinese Communist government leaders responsible for implementing this horrific ‘1984’ style policy of forced sterilizations and forced abortions.”

Some advocates in support of the Democratic bill blocked by Cruz were furious with the senator.

“I’m enraged,” Jeffrey Ngo, a Georgetown University Ph.D. student and an activist, told the South China Morning Post. “[Cruz’s] actions today have single-handedly endangered the safety and security of me and others just like me – Hong Kong protesters currently in the U.S.

“I cannot agree [with] his dismissal of the positive impact that this bill can have to the lives of real people,” Ngo added. “And not just the lives of real people, but the people who he purports to support.”

Others took more diplomatic tones in their criticism.

“We want to tell Senator Cruz that one needs not to pick between preventing [Chinese Communist Party] censorship on the screen or saving brave activists from life in prison,” said Samuel Chu, founding head of the U.S.-based Hong Kong Democracy Council, in a statement. “Refusing to send Hongkongers back to become political prisoners and calling out atrocities in Xinjiang are not mutually exclusive. Fighting against the [Chinese Communist Party] and standing with Hong Kong requires every tool at our disposal.”

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Joe Biden promises to raise annual number of refugees admitted to US from 15,000 to at least 125,000

Joe Biden declared that he plans to vastly increase the number of annual refugees admitted into the United States. Under the Trump administration, the maximum number of refugees permitted in the U.S. per year is 15,000. Biden pledged that he will dramatically raise that number to 125,000.

Biden made the declaration in a prerecorded video created for a virtual celebration of the 40th anniversary of Jesuit Refugee Service.

“The United States has long stood as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden and the oppressed, a leader of resettling refugees in our humanitarian response,” Biden said on Thursday, as reported by the Religion News Service. “I promise, as president, I will reclaim that proud legacy for our country.”

“The Biden-Harris administration will restore America’s historic role in protecting the vulnerable and defending the rights of refugees everywhere and raising our annual refugee admission target to 125,000,” Biden announced.

In June, Biden released a statement on World Refugee Day, in which he said, “Fear-mongering, xenophobia, and racism are the unabashed tenets of Trump’s refugee and immigration policy,”

“I also recognize that it is not enough to simply reverse or dismantle the heartless policies of the Trump Administration,” the former vice president stated. “We need to look for ways to do better.”

“As President, I will increase the number of refugees we welcome into this country, setting an annual global refugee target of 125,000,” Biden said, then hinted that he could raise that amount, “And will seek to further raise it over time commensurate with our responsibility, our values, and the unprecedented global need.”

Biden added, “I will repeal the Muslim ban — and other discriminatory bans based on ethnicity and nationality — and restore asylum laws, including ending the horrific practice of separating families at our border.”

In October, President Donald Trump released a memo that read, “The admission of up to 15,000 refugees to the United States during FY 2021 is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.”

A study released earlier this year claimed that refugees cost American taxpayers as much as $133,000 over the course of their lives.

Intelwars refugees

Study reveals how much refugees are costing American taxpayers — up to $133,000 each

According to a new study, refugees cost American taxpayers a serious amount of coin.

The Center for Immigration Studies discovered that the average refugee will cost the U.S. government $60,000 to $133,000 over the course of their life, with less-educated refugees between the ages 25 and 64 costing the most.

According to the CIS, refugee costs are increasing due to an influx of refugees who are poorly educated and will, therefore, require more government assistance over the course of their life.

From CIS:

Although refugees from earlier generations were often well educated, today’s refugees have fewer than nine years of schooling on average. Because of their low earning power and immediate access to welfare benefits, recent refugees cost the government substantially more than they contribute in taxes, even over the long term.

Our best estimate of the average refugee’s lifetime fiscal cost, expressed as a net present value, is $60,000, with those entering as adults (ages 25 to 64) costing $133,000 each. Perhaps this is a price that the United States should be willing to pay to further its humanitarian goals. However, resettlement in the United States may not be the most cost-effective means of aiding displaced people.

“The low education attainment level of so many of today’s refugees means they need a great deal of government assistance. Given these costs, policymakers have to decide if it makes more sense to settle a modest number here or help many more people overseas,” Steven Camarota, co-author of the report and research director for CIS, said, the Washington Examiner reported.

The report’s findings come at a time when President Donald Trump continues to slash annual refugee admittance.

In fact, Trump capped refugee admittance at just 18,000 for fiscal year 2020, down from 110,000 during the final year of the Obama administration.

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NY Times admits: President Trump has been widely successful in delivering on immigration promises

President Donald Trump’s fight to reform immigration has been a successful endeavor, the New York Times admitted Monday.

The cornerstone of the Trump campaign was immigration reform. As a candidate, he promised to build a border wall, tighten controls on which immigrants would be granted legal permanent status, and to restrict the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. per year.

Despite his continued fight to build the border wall — using such tactics as syphoning funds away from the Defense Department — Trump has succeeded in delivering on his promises.

Legal immigration has plummeted more than 11%, and, according to the Times, “a steeper drop is looming.”

Between FY2016 and FY2018, the number of immigrants granted legal permanent status declined from 1,063,289 to 940,877, or 11.5%. Meanwhile, the National Foundation for American Policy projects that Trump’s immigration policies will result in a net 30% decline in legal immigration by 2021.

“He’s really ticking off all the boxes. It’s kind of amazing,” Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst with the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, told the Times. “In an administration that’s been perceived to be haphazard, on immigration they’ve been extremely consistent and barreling forward.”

In addition to decreases in legal immigration, the number of immigrant visas has dropped about 25% from FY2016 — from 617,752 to 462,422 — and Trump capped the refugee admittance at 18,000 this year, down from 110,000 in the last year of the Obama administration.

Two recent policy changes also reflect Trump’s continued goal of sweeping immigration reform.

On Friday, Trump’s so-called “travel ban” was extended to include Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar.

In addition, the Trump administration also won a temporary victory Friday when the Supreme Court issued an emergency stay allowing the administration’s updated definition of “public charge” to temporarily take effect. Previously, U.S. immigration law prevented officials from granting legal permanent status to immigrants who would likely depend on government cash assistance. The Trump administration updated the definition of “public charge” last year to include immigrants who would depend on non-cash assistance, such as food stamps.