I was frustrated today by a clip I saw of Fox News bemoaning bringing more refugees to the United States. The host said some racist stuff about migrants “despoiling” the country and making it a place you wouldn’t want to live. It was sadly unsurprising rhetoric coming from a white supremacist.
The context was Bernie Sanders’ plan to bring in at least 50,000 climate refugees in his first year. The hosts made it sound like an unbelievably large number. For some comparison, the US Refugee Resettlement ceiling in 1980 was 231,700. The president sets this ceiling each year, so it has gone up and down over the years. From 2000 through 2016, the ceiling ranged from 70,000 to 90,000 per year.1 Sanders’ proposed program is in addition to the US Refugee Resettlement program, so it would be an increase, but it’s certainly not an unbelievable number that the United States could not handle.
We have the resources, resilience, and heart to address these crises.