Don't eliminate State Department's refugee office: Diplomats urge Tillerson

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.], July. 18 (ANI): A number of former foreign policy experts have called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to not eliminate the state department office that handles refugees. A memo, which was leaked last month, showed the administration mulling over relocating the Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration. It also said that moving management responsibilities for refugees to DHS would "enable processing efficiencies" and is consistent with President Donald Trump's focus on border security and ample vetting of those entering the country. According to a letter signed by 58 former diplomats and National Security Advisers, such a change will surely shift the bureau's focus from humanitarian and policy concerns to solely security issues, reports Washington Post. "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. It would also be ironic, as this is one of the bureaus at State that has enjoyed strong bipartisan support over many years," the letter reads. Those who signed include former officials who served in Republican and Democratic administrations, as well as executives from numerous religious and humanitarian organizations that work with newly arrived refugees. (ANI)