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 adviser 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. Her departure was first reported by Politico.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Arangio did not immediately respond to LinkedIn (NYSE:) and Facebook (NASDAQ:) messages requesting comment.
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.
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.
Prior to her tenure at the White House, Arangio worked for eight years for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. She served on the staff for the 2004 Republican National Convention, and ran for the New York City Council in 2003 as a Republican, according to a biography on the website of a former employer.
“When they’re marching people out of the White House who have such impeccable conservative credentials, then you really have to wonder about what kind of policy-making environment we have in the White House on migration issues,” said Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International and a former State Department official during the Obama administration.
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.
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