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Monday, March 15, 2021
CNS Frets Biden Will Allow More Non-Christian Refugees Into U.S. Than Trump Did

We've documented how, mainly reporter Patrick Goodenough, fretted that the U.S. let into the country too many Muslim refugees and not enough Christian ones under President Obama -- although there were almost always more Christians than Muslims -- and cheered when President Trump not only drastically cut the number of overall refugees but dramatically increased the percentage of those that were Christian. With a new administration and likely changes in refugee policies, CNS is ready to skew the issue again.

An anonymously written article published in December complained about a Biden campaign policy statement stating that "Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure." Another anonymous article in january groused that "President-elect Joe Biden has promised to terminate policies followed under President Donald Trump that Biden says limited 'the ability of members of the LGBTQ community' to claim asylum in the United States." Goodenough fretted in a Feb. 4 article:

President Joe Biden signaled on Thursday that the United States will in the next fiscal year aim to admit the largest number of refugees in almost three decades.

The refugee admission ceiling for fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1 this year, will be 125,000, Biden said at the State Department.

That number is 15,000 more than the highest cap set during the Obama-Biden administration (Its proposal of 110,000, for FY 2017, would have been the highest since FY 1995. It did not survive, however, as President Trump, days after his inauguration, signed an executive order lowering it to 50,000 admissions.)

Goodenough did offer some sort of balance, noting that "Refugee resettlement agencies applauded the move." while "Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) criticized Biden’s announcement,"though he didn't explain what significance Cotton's remarks have to the debate beyond being a random Republican would happened to issue a statement on the issue.

Goodenough rehashed what we already knew about the Trump administration's refugee policy in a Feb. 11 article:

The Trump administration’s refugee policies led to an increased proportion of Christians among those resettled in the United States – but because overall refugee numbers were reduced so significantly, far fewer followers of the world’s most persecuted religious faith were resettled during the Trump years than previously, advocates told the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday.

Between fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2020, the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. from the 50 countries on the Open Doors USA annual list of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians dropped by 83 percent – from 16,714 to 2,811 – Jenny Yang, senior vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief, told a USCIRF hearing on “Refugees Fleeing Religious Persecution.”

Goodenough's assertion that Christianity is "the world’s most persecuted religious faith" is dubious at best, though he did graciously concede that "Adherents of faiths other than Christianity face persecution too." He also conceded a fact he obscured in his original reporting at the time, that Christian refugees almost always outnumbered Muslim ones under Obama:

During most of the Obama administration, Christians outnumbered Muslims – although not by large margins – among the refugee admissions.

That changed in the last full fiscal year of the Obama administration, when 44.5 percent of the 84,994 refugees resettled in the U.S. were Christians and 45.7 percent were Muslims.

Goodenough also complained that "President Biden is expected to increase the admission ceiling for the current fiscal year," though he had to admit that the move was applauded by not only resettlement agencies but also the USCIRF, "a bipartisan statutory body that advises the executive and legislative branches."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT

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