If President Donald Trump wants to curtail migration into the U.S. from some of the world’s most dangerous hotspots of jihadism, he has options that would effectively navigate an end-run around the courts.
Trump hinted in his news conference Friday that the nation should expect something quickly, possibly a whole new executive order that would bypass the legal challenges.
“We will keep our country safe. That’s what I’m here for… I will give it the best security, so it will happen very rapidly,” Trump said Friday.
His top policy aide, Steven Miller, said essentially the same thing in appearing on all the major Sunday morning news shows.
Miller said “all options” remain on the table,” including a Supreme Court appeal.
“As you know, we have multiple options, and we are considering all of them,” Miller said on ABC’s “This Week.”
One of the options is to simply lower the ceiling on refugee resettlement for fiscal 2017, which began four months ago on Oct. 1.
Trump has already partially exercised this option in his first executive order when he lowered the annual ceiling from 110,000 refugees set by Obama to 50,000. Interestingly, this was the one part of his executive order that was not struck down by the lawsuits filed in Washington state and Minnesota.
There have already been 34,225 refugees enter the U.S. in fiscal 2017, meaning about 16,000 more are allowed to enter between now and Oct. 1. The vast majority of them, 77 percent, are coming from four of the seven countries listed in Trump’s executive order – Syria, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan.
By cutting the ceiling to 35,000, Trump would effectively end refugee resettlement for the rest of the fiscal year extending over the next seven and a half months. That would allow his administration to decide on a better vetting system and determine how high to set the ceiling for fiscal 2018.