Ex-diplomats warn Pompeo against eliminating U.S. refugee bureau

By Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thirty-two prominent former U.S. diplomats and 11 aid groups on Monday urged U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to eliminate a key State Department refugee bureau, warning that the move would be 'an error of grave proportion.' In a letter to Pompeo, the former diplomats and national security advisers who served both Democratic and Republican administrations, said eliminating the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) office would impact the U.S

Reuters July 24, 2018 01:05:27 IST
Ex-diplomats warn Pompeo against eliminating U.S. refugee bureau

Exdiplomats warn Pompeo against eliminating US refugee bureau

By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thirty-two prominent former U.S. diplomats and 11 aid groups on Monday urged U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to eliminate a key State Department refugee bureau, warning that the move would be "an error of grave proportion."

In a letter to Pompeo, the former diplomats and national security advisers who served both Democratic and Republican administrations, said eliminating the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) office would impact the U.S. ability to influence global refugee policy.

The letter comes barely a year after 58 U.S. policy experts warned Rex Tillerson, former secretary of state, against such a move.

The Trump administration has defended its hardline immigration policy, including a travel ban against some countries and the detention of immigrants entering the United States illegally.

"We are convinced that the elimination of PRM's assistance functions would have profound and negative implications for the Secretary of State's capacity to influence policy issues of key concern to the United States," the former diplomats wrote. "It would also be ironic, as this is one of the bureaus at State that has enjoyed strong bipartisan support over many years."

The State Department did not immediately respond to questions about the possible elimination of the refugee office.

Those signing the letter included William Burns, former undersecretary of state for political affairs; Rand Beers, former deputy assistant to the president for homeland security; Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state for political affairs; Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon; Ellen Laipson, former vice chair of the U.S. National Intelligence Council; Anne Richard, former assistant secretary of state for PRM; and Frederick Barton, a former U.N. deputy high commissioner for refugees.

Among the aid groups that signed the letter was Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief; David Miliband, president and CEO of International Rescue Committee; Eric Schwartz, president of Refugee International; Wendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense; and Neil Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps.

A former U.S. administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the possibility of the bureau being cut was "proudly disheartening."

"This administration has unfortunately diminished significantly its support in many respects for the operations benefiting refugees, but this measure would compound those problems," the official said.

The United Nations reported last month that the global number of refugees grew by a record 2.9 million in 2017 to 25.4 million, with another 43.1 million people forcibly displaced.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

EU sanctions 'a small victory' - Belarusian opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya
World

EU sanctions 'a small victory' - Belarusian opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya

By Paul Carrel BERLIN (Reuters) - European Union sanctions against 40 officials in Belarus are "a small victory" but should be widened, opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Monday, adding she would press Germany's Angela Merkel to do more at a meeting on Tuesday. Tsikhanouskaya fled her homeland for Lithuania amid a police crackdown in Belarus following an Aug. 9 presidential election, which official results said incumbent Alexander Lukashenko won, but which Tsikhanouskaya's supporters say was rigged

Trump spokeswoman McEnany, other White House staffers test positive for COVID-19
World

Trump spokeswoman McEnany, other White House staffers test positive for COVID-19

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday she tested positive for COVID-19, while several U.S. media outlets reported that a number of other White House staff members also were confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus