- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 29, 2017

As the nation and the White House wrestle with complex immigration issues, some numbers to consider, including the official total of refugees who arrived in U.S. in the last year, and how Americans feel about the phenomenon. Three states took on many refugees; two states had none. A record number of Muslims were among the new arrivals according to new research.

“The U.S. admitted 84,995 refugees in the fiscal year ending in September 2016, the most in any year during the Obama administration. An additional 31,143 refugees have been admitted to the U.S. from Oct. 1 through Jan. 24, including more than 1,136 refugee admissions since Donald Trump became president on Jan. 20,” note Pew Research Center analysts Jens Manuel Krogstad and Jynnah Radford, based on statistics from the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, plus historical data.

“Nearly 39,000 Muslim refugees entered the U.S. in fiscal 2016, the highest number on record. Muslims made up nearly half (46 percent) of refugee admissions, a higher share than for Christians, who accounted for 44 percent of refugees admitted,” the analysis stated.

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“The U.S. public has seldom approved of accepting large numbers of refugees. In October 2016, 54 percent of registered voters said the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees from Syria, while 41 percent said it does. There was a wide partisan gap on this measure, with 87 percent of Donald Trump supporters saying the U.S. doesn’t have a responsibility to accept Syrians, compared with only 27 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters who said the same. U.S. public opinion polls from previous decades show Americans have largely opposed admitting large numbers of refugees from countries where people are fleeing war and oppression,” the report said.

These days the highest number of refugees from any nation came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (16,370 refugees) followed by Syria (12,587), Burma (12,347), Iraq (9,880) and Somalia (9,020).

Where are the refugees now? California, Texas and New York resettled nearly a quarter of the new arrivals. Other states that received at least 3,000 refugees included Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois. By contrast, Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Wyoming each resettled fewer than 10 refugees. Delaware and Hawaii took in no refugees.


“If you would just slow down for a second and listen, I could answer your question.”

And so said White House chief of staff Reince Priebus to NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd during a discussion about immigration on Sunday. Mr. Preibus also added 10 seconds later, “You don’t stop talking, Chuck. I love you, but let me answer the question.”


“Here we are, barely a week into the Trump administration, and half of the country that opposed him during the election is quivering with rage. He’s building the wall! He’s banning immigration from some Muslim countries! He’s wrecking ObamaCare! He’s sacking top officials at the State Department! He’s threatening sanctuary cities! What’s going on here? It’s called: keeping his campaign promises,” writes Michael Walsh, a columnist for the New York Post. “We’ve become so inured to politicians lying to us to get elected that we find it hard to believe that the new man in the White House actually meant what he said — and can’t wait to get on with it.”


Someone with insight is happy with White House intent to build a viable wall on the U.S./Mexico border in the near future.

“I’m pleased to see President Trump leading where former President Obama would not,” says Rep. Diane Black, Tennessee Republican and author of the “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act,” alongside Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania. “With these orders, the president is acting to protect our national security and make good on his promises. Americans have compassion for our neighbors abroad, but we know that our first responsibility is to protect our fellow citizens here at home. That is the core of President Trump’s America first agenda.”

She also cites the sanctuary cities issue.

“I am particularly encouraged to see President Trump taking decisive action to hold these rogue jurisdictions accountable for playing politics with public safety. While the president’s orders are a bold first step, they should be followed up with meaningful legislation. My bill, which has the support of more than 60 House co-sponsors, would withhold billions in federal grants from cities that adopt sanctuary city policies and will ensure that the spirit of President Trump’s executive orders cannot be ignored by future administrations.”


Americans for Tax Reform points out that the repeal of Obamacare will provide some “much needed middle class tax relief.” The nonpartisan coalition of those who support lower taxes revisited the outcome of the health care reform to discover that Obamacare imposed roughly $1 trillion in higher taxes over 10 years that directly and indirectly affected middle-class families and businesses.

The specifics: The law imposes a tax or taxes on Americans who fail to buy government-mandated insurance or use health savings or flexible spending accounts. It also imposes an income tax hike on Americans facing high medical bills, imposes a new tax on health insurance, a tax on medical devices, a tax on employer provided care and a tax on innovative medicines and other treatments.

“Repealing these taxes will provide much needed relief to the paychecks of families across the country. Repealing Obamacare will also undo Barack Obama’s broken promise not to sign ‘any form of tax increase’ on any middle class American family,” the organization notes.


• 41 percent of Americans say their top financial goal for the next four years is to “save more.”

• 12 percent intend to be “a smart shopper”; 10 percent plan to pay off their credit card debt.

• 8 percent intend to pay off accumulated credit debt completely; 5 percent intend to pay off credit card balance completely on a regular basis.

• 3 percent will not open any more credit card accounts; 2 percent will check their credit score more often.

• 2 percent plan to contact a financial adviser; 2 percent plan to check their credit report more often.

• 1 percent will engage a credit monitoring/theft protection service.

Source: An Experian/Edelman Intelligence survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 10-21, 2016, and released Friday.

• Tranquil words, inane chatter to [email protected]

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