Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill, October 25, 2017
White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly told other members of the Trump administration that if it were up to him the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. would be between zero and one.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Kelly made the comment while the administration debated lowering the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the country.
President Trump eventually decided to lower the refugee cap to 45,000, the lowest levels since the Reagan administration, when the Refugee Act was passed. Officials said at the time that this number represents the maximum number of refugees possible under the administration’s new vetting standards.
White House staffers told the Times that Kelly’s comment is an example of his similarities with Trump.
“Kelly has been an enabler of Trump’s mission,” Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration, told the Times. “Judge him that way.”