Politics

Goodlatte Scolds Trump Admin for Undercutting Congress with Refugee Cap

House and Senate Judiciary Committees have also tried to schedule a consultation meeting with the administration

Image Credit: Shutterstock

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) warned Thursday that a recently announced limit for refugees needs to go to a congressional review.

President Donald Trump has made immigration and related issues a central focus of his administration.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focused more on the refugee side of the agenda when he announced on Monday a new limit for next year.

Goodlatte (shown above left) argued that the administration first needed to consult with Congress, as required by law.

Related: Trump Administration’s Proposed Refugee Cap Sparks Debate

“The law is clear,” Goodlatte said in a statement.

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“The administration must consult with Congress prior to the president’s determination of the annual refugee ceiling. But this did not happen this year, and the Trump administration has no excuse for not complying with their obligation under the law.”

Goodlatte added that it was questionable whether the president could even set a number of refugees without congressional consultation with Congress.

He also noted that the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have tried to schedule a consultation meeting with the administration for weeks.

Pompeo announced that the proposed cap would be 30,000 for the fiscal year starting October 1. The proposed limit slashes the number for last year, which was set at 45,000. Former President Barack Obama’s administration had set the cap even higher at 115,000; the proposed cut would be 74 percent less.

“The administration’s lack of consultation underscores once again why this process is fundamentally flawed and why the refugee program is in need of reform,” Goodlatte said.

“Congress, not the president, should set the annual refugee ceiling.”

Related: Dalai Lama Takes Stand Against Immigration: ‘Europe Is for Europeans’

The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act was proposed to give Congress the authority to set the refugee ceiling.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure in June of 2017 after it was introduced by Goodlatte and House Immigration and Border Security Chairman Raúl Labrador.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Bob Goodlatte, CC BY-SA 2.0, Cropped/Colorized, by Gage Skidmore)

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