President Trump’s attempts to block refugee admittance through executive action have been stopped in federal court. Consequently, over 8,400 refugees have resettled in the U.S., according to State Department figures released Sunday.
Trump’s first executive order called for a temporary ban on the resettlement of refugees for 120 days, and an indefinite ban on the entry of Syrian refugees. This order was subsequently blocked by a federal judge in Seattle and the decision was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The president signed a revamped order on March 6 that included the 120 day temporary ban on refugee resettlement, but removed the provision about Syrian refugees.
This revised order was subsequently blocked by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland. The Department of Justice is currently in the appeals process, and a judge in Virginia recently ruled that the order is in fact constitutional.
Due to these troubles in court, President Trump has not been able to effectively carry out his campaign promise to stop refugee resettlement. Since he took office, 8,476 refugees have been resettled in the U.S., according to the Refugee Processing Center. More specifically, 1,131 Syrian refugees have resettled in the country during this time. This is nearly three times the number of Syrian refugees, 395, that were resettled in the same period last year under President Obama.
When President Trump signed his first executive order regarding refugee admittance, he said, “We don’t want them here. We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our countries the very threats that our soldiers are fighting overseas.” During the campaign, he called the entrance of Syrian refugees a “great Trojan horse.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced in early March that approximately 300 individuals who entered the U.S. as refugees are being investigated for terrorism.