Today’s big announcement from the Trump administration was a shake-up in the state department. Former CIA director Mike Pompeo replaced Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, but a smaller change in the state department may have broader ramifications for the refugee resettlement program.
Andrew Veprek was recently appointed to be Deputy Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). He was formerly an aide of Stephen Miller, an immigration hawk who has been demonized relentlessly by the mainstream media, and is expected to continue Miller’s agenda at his new post. He will likely take aim at the refugee resettlement program, a controversial initiative pushed by the Obama administration that brought third-world migrants to America at the expense of the taxpayer.
Politico recently published an article about how the entrenched bureaucrats of the state department are angered over the hiring of Veprek:
“He was Stephen Miller’s vehicle,” the former State official said. The current official predicted that some PRM officials could resign in protest over Veprek’s appointment.
“My experience is that he strongly believes that fewer refugees should admitted into the United States and that international migration is something to be stopped, not managed,” the former U.S. official said, adding that Veprek’s views about refugees and migrants were impassioned to the point of seeming “vindictive.”
Veprek’s appointment as a deputy assistant secretary is unusual given his relatively low Foreign Service rank, the former and current State officials said, and raises questions about his qualifications. Such a position typically does not require Senate confirmation.
The Trump administration had already announced that there would no longer be a need for the 324 resettlement offices that were operating as of 2017. Veprek’s promotion to deputy assistant may indicate that a downsizing of the program is imminent. The White House noted that Veprek has “more than 16 years in the Foreign Service and experience working on refugee and migration issues,” dispelling any notions that he is unqualified for the position.