Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, announced a new ceiling on the number of refugees who can enter the US, saying it reflected the “daunting operational reality” of addressing what he called a “humanitarian crisis” involving people claiming asylum in the United States.
“Some will characterize the refugee ceiling as the full barometer of America’s commitment to vulnerable people around the world,” Mr. Pompeo said. “This would be wrong.”
Yes, it would be quite wrong as a measure of our commitment to vulnerable people around the world. In fact, we have provided billions in arms and support for Saudi Arabia and its friends bombing vulnerable people in Yemen, where just a month ago the Saudi coalition bombed a school bus and killed the 40 children sitting inside. We have provided several billions of dollars in military aid to Israel to use for smashing down doors and terrorizing vulnerable people in the West Bank and lately shooting down medics, journalists, soccer players, teenagers and others in Gaza. Since we have invaded at least six countries and sent forces to countless more in our War on Terror, violent incidents in those countries have multiplied many-fold and killed innumerable vulnerable people.
So yes, let us not say that putting a ceiling of 30,000 on the number of refugees who may be allowed to enter the US is the measure of our engagement with vulnerable people around the world. We can say instead that limiting refugees entering the US is nothing compared to the 21 million refugees created by the War on Terror (not to mention at least 90,000 killed due to American actions). It’s time to focus on how we are creating refugees rather than on whether we should let any of them come here.