Dems call on Trump to consult Congress before lowering refugee quota

Dems call on Trump to consult Congress before lowering refugee quota
© Greg Nash

Two top Democratic senators are demanding that President Trump consult Congress before reducing the number of refugees allowed in the United States annually.

A letter signed by Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Blumenthal: ‘Credible case' of obstruction of justice can be made against Trump MORE (Calif.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats turn on Al Franken Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign Democratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday MORE (Ill.) calls on Trump to "immediately begin the process of scheduling the consultation" with members of Congress, rather than unilaterally changing policy.

"To date, we have not received a proposed refugee admissions plan for fiscal year 2018 or received any cooperation from your agencies in scheduling the refugee consultation. We request that the proposed refugee admissions report be transmitted to Congress promptly," the two Democrats wrote.

"We write to remind you that prior to any final presidential decision on the number of refugees admitted, the law requires the Administration engage in a meaningful consultation involving Senate and House Judiciary Committee leaders and Cabinet-level officials," they added.

In a statement on Twitter, Durbin stressed the importance of America's refugee program.

"We cannot abandon America’s tradition of giving safe haven to vulnerable families fleeing war & terrorism," Durbin said Thursday.

The Trump administration is considering lowering the yearly quota for refugees to 50,000, the lowest level since 1980. 

Several advisers, including Stephen Miller, are urging Trump to alter the quota as the deadline to set the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the U.S. draws closer. The president is required to set a new number each year on Oct. 1 under the Refugee Act of 1980.

The move comes just as the Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted restrictions on Trump's travel ban, which prohibited travel from six predominantly Muslim countries. The Supreme Court will hear two cases challenging Trump's travel ban in October.