Quietly, Trump team sharply slashing refugee limits

Immigration is one of the most important issues that Americans’ elected representatives refuse to do anything about. They concede it’s vital to drastically reform the alleged system that determines who gets into the United States and who doesn’t.

But it’s an emotional topic, freighted with fears and politics — and high costs. No one in the swamp wants to be seen compromising these days.

And, let’s be honest here: Immigration and refugees are very potent issues for raising money and getting-out-the-vote, priceless tools that would go, poof, like a generous genie, if it was ever solved for real.

So, the Trump Administration appears to be taking it upon itself to settle at least part of the problem, refugees. The president, who has the authority to set refugee levels, has already proposed slashing by 60 percent the annual Obama refugee admission total of 110,000.

This year the administration set 45,000 refugees as its estimated total refugee admissions. But now, the Washington Examiner reports, experts estimate the actual reduction could be more like 77 percent, all the way down to around 25,000 or less a year.

Of course, that’s a minuscule fraction of the world’s millions of refugees fleeing what seems from a safe point of view to be a never-ending stream of natural disasters, senseless wars and terrorism scourges producing hordes of homeless. Advocates claim we should admit more, not less to live up to the Statue of Liberty’s plea to send us your huddled masses.

The national pendulum of sympathy, however, seems to have swung away from an open door to one of much stricter acceptance and screening. Part of that is due to fear of terrorists planting themselves among genuine refugees with little or no verifiable documentation.

Another reason reflects the ongoing unwillingness of legislators to address and compromise on the issue of some 11-plus million illegal immigrants, many of whom are burdening the expensive welfare system.

And, oh, look, this is a midterm election year. State and local officials have made no secret of the financial burdens refugees present upon arrival, draining considerable resources from welfare and health funding plus adding additional pressures of hard-pressed school systems.

Voters would be expected to respond negatively to even the idea of any increased taxes. Another compelling reason to do nothing.