Will evangelicals thwart Trump's unchristian refugee ban?

It's unlikely — but also maybe the best hope for ending this grotesque policy

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, ioanmasay/iStock, JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images, gonin/iStock)

That the Trump administration is considering effectively barring all refugees from entering the United States in 2020 should shock but not surprise. Admissions were capped at just 30,000 for 2019, down from 45,000 the year before, during which only about 22,000 refugees were actually allowed to come to America. Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller has reportedly made gutting the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration a personal mission, and he seems to be equal to the task.

There are all sorts of reasons this should not happen. The primary argument advanced by its supporters — that terrorists will slip in among the truly helpless and harm Americans — is statistically a load of bunk: "The chance of being killed on U.S. soil in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee [from 1975 to 2017] was 1 in 3.86 billion a year," a recent Cato Institute analysis reports. Logistical concerns are unfounded, too: If there is a lack of capability or resource to handle refugee resettlement in America, it is because the Trump administration's stranglehold on refugee admissions has strangled the nonprofit network serving refugees, too. Stop killing the one and the other will revive.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.