Refugee cap at record low

Published 12 months ago -

It’s weird to say that I am a political science major who doesn’t like talking about modern politics. Well, that’s not true, I just prefer to read Plato’s Republic or to argue the merits of the just war theory than to talk about President Trump. I live under a rock by choice. Usually whenever I peek out from the rock, all I hear about is what politicians are saying and not what they’re doing. Politicians talking these days is like being back in my middle school class of thirteen girls who all had issues with each other, so I just choose not to participate unless something of note presents itself.

I guess every once in a while I have to comment on something. I did not know that President Trump was planning to lower the refugee cap to 45,000 refugees. Since I live under a rock, and I did not know that such a thing existed, I will give you a little bit of background, which also functions as a lesson for myself that I need to be more politically educated.

Historically, the President of the United States began setting a cap on refugee admissions into the United States in 1980. In 2016, President Obama had set the cap for 2017 at 110,000, but that number has not been reached this year due to President Trump’s travel ban executive orders and reconsideration of immigration policies. President Trump’s number of 45,000 for 2018 is a record low in decades.

It is hard for me to put into words the way I feel about this, especially since I am writing this article on insufficient knowledge. I am sure that there is much more information for me to know about this subject, so please forgive my lack of time to adequately understand this issue and to form an opinion. Personally, I am not one of those people who thinks that letting a higher amount of people into the country means letting in more potential threats. I believe we have just as many internal threats as outside threats, and to an extent there really isn’t anything we can do about either of them except to prepare ourselves for anything that may happen. For me, emergency preparedness is just practical.

It is hard for me to think of a good reason to turn people in need away, and this is not because of any party affiliation. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. It just hurts me to see when people have to go back to situations that clearly were not healthy in any way for them or for their families. At my church, we have been blessed by the presence of a lovely family who had to leave Haiti because they feared for their lives. This is not a unique situation to them, as many families must flee for their lives in hopes of something better. The world we live in is not exactly the most peaceful place.

There is an argument that refugees put a strain on government; on local, state and federal levels. Social services such as health care often fall to government. The argument of whether or not the government should handle social services is an argument I do not care to get into right now. My point in bringing this up is that many people argue that the economy is strained because of refugee admittance, while others argue that it is healthy for our economy. I don’t know enough about economics either way. My main issue is this: are we showing compassion to people when they come to our country? There is not much we can do about President Trump’s decision. We can complain all that we want and it would get us nowhere, and although impeachment is an option, he has not committed any proven crimes in office, so it is pretty much out of the question.

What we can do is show compassion to the people who are admitted to the United States for their safety, whether that number be in the low thousands or in the millions. Open your homes and hearts to people. Make them feel welcome here and show them that their presence is not a mistake.


Maia Campbell, a senior, studies political science. She is the Campus Life Editor of Le Provocateur.

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