Donald Trump once claimed that Christian immigrants fleeing persecution in their home nations would get priority in terms of entry into the United States. And yet, the number of Christian refugees from those countries has dropped significantly over the last two years.
Not only did Trump lie, he lied to the very people who make up his base. (Are you surprised?)
As Religion News Service points out, the numbers come from World Relief, an evangelical non-profit.
According to a new analysis by Matthew Soerens of World Relief, an evangelical Christian organization with a long history of resettling refugees, the number of Christian refugees admitted to the U.S. from countries noted for their persecution dropped nearly 79 percent between fiscal years 2016 and 2018.
A total 1,215 Christian refugees were welcomed from those countries in fiscal 2018, Trump’s first full year in office, which ended Sept. 30. That’s a drop from 5,731 in fiscal 2016, former President Obama’s last full year in office, which Soerens said was a “uniquely high time for refugee resettlement.”
“This dynamic with persecuted Christians and religious minorities, in particular, does not fit the campaign rhetoric, and it’s not consistent with the focus on international religious freedom that I think is an admirable goal,” Soerens said.
That’s a polite way of saying “Trump lied to us.”
While those numbers are disturbing for Christians, the situation is even worse for non-Christians.
It’s not just Christians who are being affected. In fact, the number of Muslim refugees being admitted has fallen a jaw-dropping 91 percent since 2016. That statistic falls more in line with President Trump’s campaign rhetoric and well-known distaste for refugees from Muslim-majority countries.
President Trump has capped the the number of refugees he’ll allow to be resettled during the current fiscal year at 30,000, by far the lowest in the history of the U.S. resettlement program, down from the already record-setting 45,000 ceiling he instituted his first year in office. During President Obama’s last year in office, the cap was 110,000.
One president cared about religious persecution. The other is Donald Trump. The question is whether white evangelicals will ever care enough to recognize the discrepancy between Trump’s rhetoric and action.
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