NumbersUSA - Obama calls for 30% increase in refugee program
This Issue: NumbersUSA activists flood Congress as it considers Obama's refugee proposal and H-2Bs in upcoming spending bills
activists have sent 109,952 faxes this week (as of this writing) and
made thousands of phone calls as Congress considers some pressing issues
before a long pre-election recess. Thank you for making sure your voice
was heard all week long!
House calendar shows that both the House and Senate will be in session
through the last week of September (although one, or both, may recess
before that). Topping the agenda is funding the government beyond
September 30, which is when last December's omnibus spending bill runs
A couple immigration items could be affected in a short-term spending bill.
Capitol Hill Team is hearing that Congress will pass a Continuing
Resolution (short-term spending bill) through early- to mid-December. It
will have to consider Pres. Obama's demand to increase the refugee
resettlement program and the expansion of the H-2B visa program that is
set to expire at the end of September.
OBAMA CALLS FOR 30% INCREASE IN REFUGEES
this week, Pres. Obama demanded that Congress increase the current
refugee flow from 85,000 to 110,000 in FY2017. That is a 57% increase over FY2015 levels. (Please see Eric's blog for more details.)
From 2005-2014, the United States permanently resettled an average of 55,700 refugees per year.
Thursday, 41 non-governmental organizations
(NGO), who profit from the
refugee resettlement program, delivered thousands of postcards to
Members of Congress, pushing for an expansion of the refugee
resettlement program. They also pressured the White House to increase
levels to a combined 200,000 refugees and asylees through both the
resettlement program and other humanitarian efforts.
we've noted in the past, the Center for Immigration Studies has
determined that, for the cost of resettling one refugee in the United
States through those NGO agencies, we can provide food, shelter, and
medical care for 12 refugees in internationally-run safe zones in their
House Appropriations Committee has already passed spending bills that
include funding of the refugee resettlement program in FY2017, and the
Committee's report indicates that funding has been set at the FY2015
level of 70,000 per year.
expect Congress to address funding Pres. Obama's demands in December,
but we've still been asking for faxes and phone calls this week, urging
Congress to include a moratorium in the CR on refugees from
terrorist-sponsoring countries until the risks to national security can
be assessed. FBI Director James Comey warned Congress last year that
refugees from terrorist-sponsoring countries could not be fully vetted.
H-2B VISA EXPANSION
H-2B visa program allows for up to 66,000 visas for foreign workers to
work jobs that are temporary or seasonal in nature. A provision included
in last year's omnibus bill excluded foreign workers who had held an
H-2B visa in any of the prior three years from the annual cap.
opposed the provision since it theoretically could increase the annual
number of visas given to foreign workers from 66,000 to 264,000. The
program is extremely harmful to low-skilled American workers who have
significantly higher unemployment levels than the national average and
depend on temporary and seasonal jobs.
the expansion expires on September 30, Congress would have to include a
provision to extend the date in the upcoming CR. However, as I noted,
Congress approved the FY16 expansion last December, so even if we're
able to keep it out of the CR, the expansion issue could still come up
later this year.
we've been asking activists to make phone calls and send faxes urging
Congress to oppose any efforts to expand the H-2B visa program in the
FY17 spending bills.
I mentioned, Congress must take action before the end of the month, so
we'll continue to follow all of these issues in the coming weeks. Please
be on the lookout for action alerts, urging you to contact your Members
of Congress next week. In the meantime, if you've yet to send the faxes
we posted this week on these issues, please visit your Action Board today and take action!
Check out our Presidential VOTER GUIDE
Clarifying immigration positions of all presidential nominees is the purpose of our new Voter Guide.
We update it daily if any candidate shifts stances. The Voter Guide
shows each presidential nominee's stance on the 10 most important
immigration policy issues and where the Democratic, Republican,
Libertarian and Green Parties' presidential nominees stand on them.
The issues include:
Work Permits to Illegal Foreign Workers
Our analytical team meets each week to jointly study, discuss, and
debate all new statements by nominees and to agree on how to present the
public with the most fair, accurate, and helpful descriptions. Only
NumbersUSA's Voter Guide focuses exclusively on the effect immigration
policy stances have on the American worker.
We have posted several faxes on your Action Board about the upcoming spending bill. If you haven't sent these faxes yet please visit your Action Board to send them and any others we may have posted this week.
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your Account page.
President Obama's proposed refugee admissions for FY2017, which he
submitted to Congress for approval, requests that refugee admissions be
increased 30 percent from FY2016, from 85,000 to 110,000. The requested
budget to administer the program in FY2017 is $1.54 billion, which only
includes the costs of resettlement, not the cost of benefits refugees
receive after they come to the United States.
Pres. Obama is demanding that Congress provide funding to resettle
110,000 refugees in FY2017. The request is an increase of 30% from
FY2016 when Congress funded the resettlement of 85,000 refugees. In
previous years, the United States resettled an average of 70,000
refugees per year.
A recent Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report shows that illegal
border crossings surged 10% in August countering the usual decrease in
crossings due to the hot temperatures. This puts the agency on track to
break the 2014 record of family unit apprehensions.
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies uses data from the
1990 and 2000 Censes and 2010-2014 the American Community Survey (ACS)
to show how the adult immigrant population (illegal and legal) has grown
from 1990 to 2014 at the county level. The analysis shows that in 232
U.S. counties the number of adult immigrants has quadrupled in 14 years.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking
Member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told Senate leadership they oppose a
straight reauthorization of the fraud-ridden EB-5 visa program in a FY17
continuing resolution (CR) or appropriations bill. The program must be
reformed or allowed to expire on September 30th, they said.