Executive Summary for September 27th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a historically low cap on refugee admissions to the U.S., a Sri Lankan protest against Rohingya refugees, and a Libyan vessel confronting an NGO boat rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.

Published on Sep. 27, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Trump to Limit Refugee Admissions to 45,000 Over Next Year

The Trump administration will limit the number of refugees to 45,000 over the next fiscal year, the lowest since the annual cap was introduced in 1980, officials told the Wall Street Journal.

Administration officials will consult with Congress before formally announcing the cap by October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. Some Trump advisers had advocated for even fewer refugees, with a cap of 15,000, while Pentagon and State Department officials advocated for at least 50,000.

The limit will see a major drop in refugee arrivals to the U.S., which has the world’s largest refugee resettlement program. Former president Barack Obama set the limit last year at 110,000.

“The threat of a drastically low ceiling on refugee arrivals in the U.S. is contrary to American values and the spirit of generosity in American churches and communities,” said Linda Hartke, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which resettles refugees in the U.S.

While this will be the lowest cap to date, the U.S. sometimes admits fewer refugees than the official cap; in 2006 the country took in 41,200 refugees.

Sri Lankan Protesters Force Rohingya out of U.N. Safe House

Protesters stormed a U.N. safe house in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and forced out 31 Rohingya refugees sheltering there.

Buddhist monks and hard-line nationalists chanted “do not allow terrorists into this country” as they took over the U.N. compound. The Rohingyas living there had fled Myanmar for India in 2012 and were arrested trying to reach Sri Lanka by boat in April.

“These Rohingyans are a group of terrorists. They have slaughtered our Buddhist monks in Myanmar,” Buddhist monk Akmeemana Dayarathne said at the protest.

Some 480,000 Rohingya – 60 percent of them children – have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since an August 25 militant attack sparked a massive military crackdown.

Libyans Board NGO Rescue Ship Demanding Return of Migrants

Libyans boarded an NGO rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea and demanded they hand over rescued migrants, the charity said.

The Libyan vessel fired shots into the air and told the charity boat, “This is our territory,” said Mission Lifeline spokesman Axel Steier.

Then two men boarded their boat and demanded they hand over 70 people rescued from the water. “We told them we don’t return migrants to Libya. After a while, they gave up,” Steier said.

A Libyan coast guard spokesman told Reuters he was seeking information about the incident. The E.U.-supported coast guard has increasingly confronted private rescue vessels and intercepted refugee boats departing Libya.

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