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Flickering torch: The Trump administration slashes America’s refugee cap to unconscionably low levels


The United States of America, the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world, has no legal obligation to take in any particular number of people fleeing war and oppression around the world.

There is no codified written requirement to accept more than the measly 18,000 cap the Trump administration has set for the next 12 months, about half of what it was last year and well, well below the 110,000 President Obama proposed for 2017.

At a time when there are nearly 26 million refugees worldwide, our country doesn’t have to be a haven for a single one of the thousands of Christians being driven from their homes in the Middle East, in campaigns of persecution President Trump simultaneously decries; for members of the Rohingya Muslim minority purged in a horrifying campaign of violence in Myanmar; for countless Yemenis and Syrians fleeing chaos and bloodshed.

The United States is fully within its rights to turn away people trying to escape the ravages of the socialism our government rightly condemns in Venezuela.

With a president who now claims “our country is full,” even at a time of dramatically declining immigration, we can cease to be the safe haven for the desperate. We can shutter the gates of what Ronald Reagan called the “shining city upon a hill," dim or totally darken the once bright global beacon of the values we ceaselessly preach.

We can tune out more of the world’s suffering. We can pretend that by doing so, we aren’t at risk of losing our very soul.