More than a dozen refugees have been resettled in the United States over the last two weeks despite a State Department order halting the federal program during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, State Department officials announced the suspension of refugee resettlement after the United Nations’ Refugee Agency terminated their facilitation of the program due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
From March 20 to April 1, zero refugees were admitted to the U.S. On April 2, though, about 17 refugees — all from countries with confirmed coronavirus cases — were resettled in Utah, North Carolina, and Texas.
Eight of those refugees arrived from Vietnam, which has 249 confirmed coronavirus cases. Another six arrived from Pakistan, which has 4,009 confirmed cases and 56 deaths. Two arrived from Burma, with 22 confirmed cases, and one arrived from Afghanistan, which has 423 confirmed cases and 14 deaths.
A State Department official told Breitbart News that although refugee resettlement has been suspended, emergency cases are still being processed. All U.S.-bound refugees deemed emergency cases must not have traveled recently to China, Iran, or Europe in accordance with President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Since February 2, when Trump’s travel ban on China was implemented, more than 2,700 refugees have been resettled across the U.S. — including 18 refugees from Iran, which has 62,589 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 4,000 deaths.