How Many Refugees Does the United States Accept
With Trump’s immigration ban, you may be wondering, how many refugees does the United States accept? To answer this question, you must do some math.

The United States will not accept any more refugees until May 27, and in the meantime, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence will review the screening procedures for refugees. President Trump’s immigration policy includes a 90-day complete ban on individuals from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States. Syrian refugees will be banned from entering the United States for an undetermined amount of time.

Over 100,000 refugees were allowed in the United States in 2016 under Obama’s plan, but Trump is capping the number of refugees allowed into the United States at 50,000. The 2017 fiscal year began last October, and as of Jan. 20, 29,895 refugees were already accepted. This leaves room for only about 20,000 more refugees to enter the United States in 2017 under Trump’s plan.

The United States accepted almost 85,000 refugees in 2016, according to the United States Department of State. In 2016, over 45% of those refugees were Muslim, the highest recorded number of Muslim refugees in history. President Trump said that he will give Christian refugees priority over Muslim refugees in the future.

David Mednicoff, Assistant Director for Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, states that there are many benefits to allowing Syrian refugees in the United States. Syrian refugees bring a knowledge of the conflict in the Middle East and how to diffuse it. Mednicoff believes that if refugees are allowed into the country, they are more likely to show gratitude rather than malice toward the United States.

As you can see, “How many refugees does the United States accept?” is a complicated question. The number of refugees that will be allowed into the United States may change as the 120-day ban ends this summer.

Jennifer Taggart

Photo: Flickr

How Many Senators Are There
How many senators are there? The United States Senate is comprised of 100 Senators, two from each state.

While it may sound simple, developing this representative structure caused a lot of debate at the Constitutional Convention where the U.S. Constitution was drafted. Though only thirteen states existed at this point in 1787, the delegates from these thirteen would form the federal government whose authority would eventually span across fifty states.

These statesmen concluded that a body of elected representatives would be the best way to form laws for a country that was broken up into smaller entities. Delegates from larger states created dissension by arguing for representation based on population. The delegates from smaller states felt cheated and refused to agree to this proposed structure, known as the Virginia Plan.

A delegate from New Jersey, a small state, responded by introducing a plan that proposed equal representation for each state. This suggestion was called the New Jersey Plan and mirrored the structure outlined in the Articles of Confederation, the document acting as a sort of temporary constitution at that time. Both sides of the debate threatened to leave the convention if their plan wasn’t used, and the situation looked grim.

It was Roger Sherman, a delegate from Connecticut, who offered the Great Compromise as a solution. His bicameral (two-bodied) system would satisfy both large and small states: he proposed a House of Representatives that would represent states proportionally by population and a Senate that would represent all states equally. Thus began the representative system seen in the U.S. today.

As each new state was added to the union over time, two more senators were added to the Senate. In 1959, the present body of 100 senators was complete, with two senators representing each of the 50 states.

Each senator serves a six-year term with the chance of reelection at the end of this period. In order to be elected as a senator, an individual must be at least 30 years old and have been a U.S. citizen for nine years. Leading this body is the Vice President, who is elected alongside the President every four years.

Senators also belong to smaller bodies within the Senate called “committees” that handle specific tasks. These committees are usually composed of 7 to 15 members, each of whom has extensive power.

Jacob Hess

Photo: Flickr