The New York Times reported over the weekend “the State Department this week quietly lifted the department’s restriction on the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States”. This was reported right on the heels of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding President Donald Trump’s travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries.

Despite the courts’ repeated rejection of the administration’s Executive Orders, refugee admissions slowed at a time when refugee numbers around the world are at record levels.  There are approximately 60,000 people who have been cleared for entry to the United States and are in limbo. The ruling will almost certainly be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While refugees never fully stopped arriving into the U.S. over the past several months they did drop considerably from a nationwide high this fiscal year in October of 9,945 to a low of 2,070 in March. A corresponding drop occurred for arrivals in Georgia from a high of 362 arrivals in October to a low of 74 in March. A slight increase occurred in April (3,316 U.S. and 115 GA) but uncertainty over the future of arrivals was still a concern.

While we do not know what the State Department’s decision holds for the summer it is indeed good news. The advocacy pressure we are putting on Congress and the Executive Branch is working. Thank you for your participation and please keep up the good work.

Finally please hold the date for Georgia’s commemoration event for World Refugee Day on Saturday June 17 at 10:00 a.m. in Clarkston, GA.

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