Refugee admissions up 160% in April under Trump

Before he left office, President Obama set a goal of accepting 110,000 refugees in the 2017 fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1st 2016), even though he was only president for four months of that fiscal year. Once Donald Trump became president, he set a revised limit of 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year. However, a federal judge struck down the 50,000 limit.

As a result, Trump is admitting larger numbers of refugees.

 The U.S. accepted 2,070 refugees in March, the lowest monthly total since 2013, according to State Department data. April ended with 3,316 refugees admitted....

That's 160% higher than March.

Now here's the tricky part:

While a federal judge has struck down Trump's 50,000 limit, that does not mean that Trump is required to admit more than 50,000 refugees. He just can't explicitly set a limit of 50,000. He could actually select fewer than 50,000, as long as he did not order a formal limit. No federal judge in the world can order President Trump to specifically select refugees to admit to America.

“As we have said repeatedly, Trump’s refugee admissions are not at the mercy of two rogue judges,” said longtime refugee watchdog Ann Corcoran in her blog post Thursday at Refugee Resettlement Watch. “He can bring in any number under the CEILING set either by Obama (110,000) or his reduced ceiling (50,000).”

So why is Trump admitting a larger number of refugees when he doesn't have to? When he campaigned for the presidency, Trump promised to deport all Syrian refugees in America; now he is admitting more than ever, even taking in ones bound for Australia.

Trump supporters say we should be happy that Trump is admitting fewer refugees than Hillary would. But why not hold Trump to a higher standard--to his own promises? He can stop admitting any more refugees right now, not admit a single new one, and no federal judge can order him otherwise.

I guess we can file this away with other security promises that will never be fulfilled, like the wall that will be paid for by Mexico (or a wall at all), and the termination of the illegal "DREAMer" program. I just wonder, when a radical Islamic Syrian refugee that Trump admits into the country kills someone, who will Trump supporters blame? A federal judge? Paul Ryan? The Deep State? The Freedom Caucus? Ted Cruz's father?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at