White House official who supported more refugee admissions is out: sources

By Yeganeh Torbati

(Reuters) – A White House official who supported higher numbers of refugee admissions to the United States and clashed with immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration left her position on Thursday, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the departure said.

Jennifer Arangio, a senior director at the White House National Security Council for International Organizations and Alliances, left after months of open disagreements with officials who support slashing refugee admissions, including White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller and Department of Justice official Gene Hamilton, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The sources said Arangio was escorted from the White House. It was not clear if her departure was directly linked to her views on refugee admissions.

Arangio received support from senior National Security Council (NSC) leadership when it was led by H.R. McMaster, one of the officials said. John Bolton, who took over as national security adviser in April, has expressed skepticism about some U.S. refugee admissions, especially from Syria.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arangio did not immediately respond to LinkedIn and Facebook messages requesting comment.

Arangio served on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign as the national director of women engagement, according to her LinkedIn profile.

During her time on the NSC, she advocated for robust refugee admissions as a tool of foreign policy to convince other countries that the United States was sharing the load of responding to global conflicts, one of the U.S. officials said.

In September, the Trump administration is set to announce a new cap for refugee admissions for the next fiscal year, and White House discussions over the new level have already begun.

The cap for this year, 45,000, is the lowest since the modern refugee program began in 1980, and the actual number may be far lower. Refugee admissions are currently on track to reach only about half the number allowed by the cap, according to refugee advocacy groups.

(Editing by Sue Horton and Jonathan Oatis)