Reading Moon Signs and the New Refugee Cap

(M2D Newsletter 9/19)

Oh, Grave Tidings, Fellow Spiritual Wanderer,

This week, events I’ve long feared finally transpired: yes, I checked my “moon sign” on astrocal.co.uk, and I am a Taurus. A Taurus?! My “sun sign” is Pisces, so being a Moon Taurus is a lot to handle, but at least I now know why “exquisite textiles” give me such catharsis.

Also, on Monday, the Trump administration slashed the refugee cap from 45,000, already a historic low, to 30,000 for 2019. Gazing into the stars of NPR a few weeks back, I mentioned reports to ye celestial subscriber that the new cap would be extremely low. Now that astrocal revealed the origins of my obsession with “comfort and security”…

I’m guessing Moon Tauruses “need comfort and security in the material world” because clearly, we won’t find it in the stars.

…I’m feeling well-equipped to call BS on the justifications for the low cap. At a press conference on Monday, Mike Pompeo explained the low ceiling ensures refugees coming to the U.S. have time to be vetted. And, he added, refugee cases must be weighed against a backlog of 800,000 asylum seekers awaiting a decision by immigration authorities.

Putting aside the fact that Pompeo was a wee in the clouds at his presser — per the DHS, the “800,000” number is closer to 320,000 — remember that in June, Black Hole Jeff Sessions tightened asylum qualifications, adding dramatically to the backlog. Moreover, Pompeo muddied the lunar waters: refugees and asylum seekers are not the same, and the legal processes they go through typically have as much to do with one another as Aries and Capricorn (two signs that I just learned are incompatible).

Deepening craters in our understanding of refugee processes is part of the wider plan to eliminate refugee resettlement. Reuters reported last week that Stephen Miller, the second Sagitarrianus behind slashing the refugee cap, reverse-engineered restrictions on refugees entering the country last year — i.e. he ignored reports that the vetting process was effective and instead finagled ways to justify why the U.S. had to add steps to the process. Simultaneously, the State Department, led by Pompeo, reduced the number of officials conducting refugee interviews by two-thirds and put a monthly limit on the number of background checks the FBI could conduct for refugees. A memo cited an increasing “backlog” as the reason for the limit which, like when Pompeo referred to a backlog on Monday, makes exactly 0 sense.

In other words, Pompeo and Miller lengthened the vetting process and reduced the number of people carrying it out, then set an extremely low cap for 2019 explaining that the vetting process takes a long time. Um, is there a moon sign for ideologue? Ursa major in mind that, as evidenced by the fact that we’ll resettle ~22,000 refugees in 2018 with the cap at 45,000, next year we likely won’t come close to hitting the new ceiling.

Each year, the government sets target numbers of refugees to resettle from different parts of the world. Together, the targets constitute the refugee cap. On Monday, Vox outlined that in 2018, for everywhere but Europe, we’ll come up woefully short of expectations.

Miller, Pompeo, and Sessions are limiting the legal ways for migrants to come to the U.S. Their strategy is clear: create problems that don’t exist and then devise severely misguided solutions, all in the name of national security.

As a citizen, I say, “Don’t be fooled; these harmful policies hurt national security.” As a Moon Taurus, I say, “BRB, I gotta go find comfort in some quilts.”

In spiritude,
Ben