President Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly advised the administration to hold true to a campaign promise that would essentially suspend the mass refugee resettlement program, according to the New York Times.
The report reveals how Kelly had pushed the Trump administration to lower the number of foreign refugees entering the United States down to between zero and one refugee a year, a virtual suspension of the program altogether, as Trump previously promised to do during the 2016 presidential campaign.
This past summer, the Trump administration debated lowering the annual cap on refugees admitted to the United States. Should it stay at 110,000, be cut to 50,000 or fall somewhere in between? John F. Kelly offered his opinion. If it were up to him, he said, the number would be between zero and one.
Instead of taking the advice of Kelly, the White House has set the foreign refugee resettlement cap at 45,000 foreign nationals coming to the U.S. through the program a year, as Breitbart News reported.
Trump adviser Stephen Miller — viewed as one of the few remaining populist-economic nationalist voices in the White House — reportedly sought to get foreign refugee admissions cut down to 20,000 a year, a figure more in line with traditional immigration levels.
Previously, Trump promised his supporters he would halt all foreign refugee resettlements to the U.S., noting that without extreme vetting measures in place, the program put American lives at risk.
“When I’m elected president, we will suspend the Syrian refugee program and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” Trump said during a campaign rally in 2016, as Breitbart News reported.
Trump additionally promised that he would suspend the refugee program for American communities who did not approve of accepting the foreign nationals, a plan that has yet to come to fruition.
“A Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed,” Trump said.