– Reprinted with the Permission of The New American.com –
“Refugee Resettlement” and “Unaccompanied Minors” are presenting a double threat to our economy, our national security, and our social order.
The Obama administration’s plan to “surge” Syrian refugees into the United States is back in full-tilt mode. And unless the American public and the U.S. Congress block this effort, thousands (or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of unvetted “refugees” from a dozen or more Muslim countries may soon be pouring into the United States.
Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard revealed the Obama plan to “surge” Syrian refugees into the United States at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on December 9, 2014. “The United States accepts the majority of all UNHCR referrals from around the world,” Assistant Secretary Richard stated. “Last year, we reached our goal of resettling nearly 70,000 refugees from nearly 70 countries. And we plan to lead in resettling Syrians as well … and we expect admissions from Syria to surge in 2015 and beyond.” (Emphasis added.)
The surge scheme, however, ran into several reality smack downs in 2015. First, there were the deadly jihadi terrorist attacks in Paris (in January against Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, and the even more lethal bombing and shooting attacks in November). Then there was the terror attack by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, which killed 14 people and wounded 21 in San Bernardino, California. These, coupled with the massive tsunami of more than a million “refugees” pouring into Europe, provided a sobering wake-up call to the American public, the U.S. Congress, and other elected officials. The suicidal consequences of open borders and unchecked migration are real indeed, as these events showed. And as they also demonstrated, political correctness should not be allowed to overwhelm the genuine threats posed to our economy, social cohesion, personal safety, and national security by a new wave of Islamic immigrants who had not been — and could not be — properly vetted.
Still, as late as September 21 of last year, Secretary of State John Kerry was promising during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, to bump up annual U.S. refugee admissions to at least 100,000 — and even more, if possible — while promising to take a minimum of 10,000 Syrian refugees. But as the EU refugee crisis intensified, and as alarming video and photo images of the massive flood of migrants began dominating the news cycles, the Obama administration, faced with widespread opposition, backed off — temporarily.
The fierce pushback against Obama’s refugee surge has been aided by continuing and growing anger over his other migration surge: the waves of “unaccompanied minors” that have flooded across our southern border since 2014, thanks to the encouragement to break the law provided by the president’s illegal amnesty-by-executive-order.
On March 1 of this year, Obama’s commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security that the “surge” of unaccompanied children and youths since 2014 is straining CBP resources. “During FY 2014, the U.S. Government experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of unaccompanied children (UC) crossing the Southwest border, compared to previous years,” Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske testified. “The surge created a resource challenge for CBP and other Federal partners responsible for responding to the urgent humanitarian situation,” he said. According to Kerlikowske, the CBP is already experiencing another UC surge this year, and is planning for “a revised baseline of 75,000 UC apprehensions.” The 2014 surge brought more than 60,000 unaccompanied children and 26,000 families across our border. CBP is requesting tens of millions dollars more to deal with the influx. But the CBP budget is only one part of the economic burden. After the CBP “processes” the apprehended children and families, they are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has built dozens of new facilities to “temporarily” house the new arrivals. Most are released to a relative or friend, with their status to be determined by an immigration hearing. But with our immigration courts already backlogged with about half a million cases, a hearing can be years in the future. By the time it does finally arrive, experience shows, the released illegals likely will have already disappeared.
While the unaccompanied-children surge has attracted most of the media attention, the Obama administration has also managed to surge a huge increase in the numbers of H-1B and L-1B “temporary” workers — by executive order, of course. This is a political payoff to the high-tech companies — both foreign and domestic — who are using these Obama visa “reforms” to bring in thousands of lower-paid tech workers to replace their American counterparts. In addition, an Obama executive order has illegally granted green card status to, potentially, hundreds of thousands of H-4 spouses and dependent children of H-1B workers, thus flooding our employment lines with foreign competitors, at a time when America’s family breadwinners and newly graduating high-school and college students are struggling to find work.
All of that is still only part of the story, however: President Obama has also, again by executive order, hamstrung the Border Patrol and done everything possible to render border security and immigration controls as ineffective as possible. In November 2014, for instance, he announced his intention to ignore federal immigration law passed by Congress and, by executive order, grant as many as five million illegal aliens a three-year stay of deportation, work permits, and various government benefits, including Social Security and tax credits. This presidential policy of “deferred action” directly conflicts with the constitutionally passed immigration laws the president — and his Border Patrol officers — have taken an oath to uphold. Understandably, this causes a quandary for Border Patrol officers, who must choose between obeying the law or following the illegal executive directives — and keeping their jobs. When CBP Commissioner Kerlikowske was asked during congressional testimony about objections by Border Patrol agents to being placed in this predicament, Kerlikowske matter-of-factly stated the agents need to get behind Obama’s policy or “look for another job.”
Shawn Moran, vice president of the labor union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), charges that this “is part of the administration’s strategy to demoralize and disrupt agents and completely dismantle immigration enforcement.” “They’re going to make the job so unbearable,” says Moran, “because they know they have a very motivated workforce, a very patriotic workforce that wants to uphold the laws, yet we have the president of the United States and the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection directly going against the rule of law.”
To hear President Obama and his Cabinet officials, however, his administration has a sterling immigration record. “When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system,” President Obama claimed in a November 20, 2014 statement. “And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history.”
And in a joint statement issued last December, the heads of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services stressed — in defiance of all evidence to the contrary — the Obama administration’s commitment to immigration and border enforcement. “We continue to aggressively work to secure our borders, address underlying causes and deter future increases in unauthorized migration, while ensuring that those with legitimate humanitarian claims are afforded the opportunity to seek protection,” declared the DHS and HHS secretaries.
How well has Obama “fixed” our broken system? So well that Mexico’s top drug cartel kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was able to sneak into the United States last year. Not once, but twice, according to his daughter, whom he reportedly visited in southern California following a daring jailbreak. The Sinaloa cartel chief, then considered the “world’s most wanted” criminal, and an easily recognized infamous fugitive, had no problem crossing our “fixed” southern border — twice.
Along those same lines, how about our “fixed” entry-exit visa enforcement system? An investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2011 revealed that nearly half of the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants had actually entered the United States legally, but then had stayed on in violation of their visas. According to the director of Homeland Security and Justice for the GAO, an audit by her office in 2013 found that in the previous year over one million foreigners had stayed in the United States after their visas had expired. Included in that number were 266 known potentially dangerous foreign nationals who “could pose national security or public safety concerns.” She also reminded legislators that “five of the nineteen September 11, 2001 hijackers were overstays.”
More recently, in its January 21, 2016 report, DHS officials congratulated themselves on losing only 527,127 foreign nationals who had come to the United States in FY 2015 for business or pleasure (under B-1, WB, B-2, and WT visas). Among the more than half a million visa holders who have failed to leave, noted Judicial Watch, “3,614 are from countries with documented ties to terrorism. Here’s the breakdown as per the DHS stats: 1,435 from Pakistan, 681 from Iraq, 564 from Iran, 440 from Syria, 219 from Yemen, 219 from Afghanistan and 56 from Libya.”
“Tens of thousands more from a number of other nations of concern have also blown off the terms of their visa and remain in the U.S.,” says Judicial Watch. “The DHS figures reveal that 45,272 Mexicans overstayed their visa as did 3,284 visitors from El Salvador, 5,872 from Ecuador and 12,729 Venezuelans. Of interesting note is that of the 1.8 million visas the U.S. granted citizens of Communist China, 18,246 never left.”
Yet in one statement after another, President Obama and his minions insist they have fixed the border and we are more secure than ever. This backdrop of lies, broken promises, and a manifest intention by the Obama administration to eviscerate our already terminally lax immigration laws is making the proposed “refugee resettlement” agenda a complete non-starter with sensible voters. Americans have proven over and over that we are a compassionate and generous people, but many are beginning to realize that our compassion and generosity are being manipulated and exploited to advance a subversive agenda that, if allowed to continue, would end up destroying the United States in the same way the identical agenda has already almost destroyed Europe.
The case against President Obama’s refugee resettlement program is overwhelming, based upon national security, economic, and social considerations. We will first list an extended itemization of the many strikes against the plan, and then develop some of them in more detail:
- Whereas national security and the personal safety of American citizens should be of paramount concern to federal officials, our top intelligence and counter terrorism officials have stated in public testimony that they have no way to carry out adequate background checks on the refugees, and, indeed, cannot even verify which countries the proposed “refugees” are from, or that they legally qualify as refugees.
- ISIS/ISIL and other terrorist groups have publicly stated they have sent (and will continue to send) their adherents into the EU and United States among the refugees, confirming what counter-terrorist specialists have warned would be the case.
- The Obama administration’s claims notwithstanding, federal officials still have no credible way to vet the proposed refugees to assure they do not have ties to extremist, violent, or terrorist organizations.
- Even more disturbing is the fact that in FY 2014 alone, the secretary of DHS used his “discretionary authority” to grant exemptions for 1,519 individuals to be admitted into the United States who normally would be barred because of their terrorist activities or ties.
- As we have already explained, our border security is already so ineffective that federal authorities cannot even stop one of the world’s “most wanted” criminals, who crossed with apparent ease, while millions of visitors and “temporary” workers have stayed on permanently without detection.
- As Secretary Kerry’s State Department notes: “While UNHCR [UN High Commissioner for Refugees] reports that less than 1 percent of all refugees are eventually resettled in third-world countries, the United States welcomes over half of these refugees, more than all other resettlement countries combined.”
- With the notable exceptions of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, our wealthy Muslim “allies” — especially in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and United Arab Emirates) — have failed to come to the aid of their Muslim brethren.
- The UNHCR and the U.S. State Department both aver that, ultimately, the goal is that refugees will return to their homelands when conditions there improve; this goal is more likely to be achieved if the refugees remain geographically close to their homeland, in bordering Muslim states, rather than thousands of miles away.
- There is less likelihood of antagonism and hostility developing against the refugees — and by the refugees against their adoptive country — if they are resettled in a religious and cultural milieu compatible with their experience.
- In November 2015, President Obama declared it is “shameful” to suggest imposing a religious test giving preference to Christian refugees over Muslims, but the State Department and UNHCR have clearly done precisely that, only in reverse, discriminating against Christians, in favor of Muslims. The shameful truth is, at the time of Obama’s statement, his State Department records showed that of 2,184 Syrian refugees admitted into the United States since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, and only 53 were Christians while 2,098 were Muslims.
- The Obama administration is even bringing in more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) “refugees” than Christians, with Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power stating we have been taking 75 to 100 LGBT refugees annually.
- According to the State Department’s own data, persecuted Christians from Iraq, Syria, and other Muslim countries — the population most at risk, and those suffering the most vicious and deadly treatment — constitute only 2.8 percent of the refugees accepted under Obama, while Muslims make up 96 percent and “others” account for 1.2 percent. According to media and NGO interviews with Christian refugees, the UNHCR is dominated by Muslim activists who not only discriminate against Christians in recommendations for resettlement, but also mistreat them in the UNHCR refugee camps, or look the other way while they are being harassed, persecuted, even tortured and executed. The Obama administration and the UNHCR have refused to investigate and correct this issue, allowing this injustice to continue and to worsen, while the UNHCR remains in charge of determining which refugees are allowed to come to the United States — and receives even larger funding from the U.S. government.
- In the UNHCR’s only audit, the UN’s own Independent Board of Auditors warned in 2012 that there are “strong indicators of significant shortcomings in financial management” at the multi-billion dollar agency, and stated further, “This is a major risk for UNHCR,” which could jeopardize future funding.
- António Guterres, the former president of the Socialist International who headed UNHCR from 2005 until this January, has retired, to be replaced by a longtime UNHCR apparatchik, Filippo Grandi, who provides no reason to believe the financial corruption and anti-Christian bias at UNHCR will change.
- Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, has pointed out that in FY 2013, according to HHS data, “more than 90% of recent Middle Eastern refugees receive food stamps and approximately 70% receive cash welfare and government-funded healthcare.”
- Senator Sessions notes, “The net cost of resettling 10,000 refugees averages out to $6.5 billion over the lifespan of those refugees. With such a forecast, the President’s proposal to resettle 85,000 refugees this fiscal year alone will result in a net cost of approximately $55.25 billion,” and he points out, “all of the exorbitant long-term costs for this resettlement will be borrowed and added to our now $18.4 trillion debt.”
- USAID boasts the United States is “the single-largest donor of humanitarian aid [to Syria], providing more than $4.5 billion to date, in addition to development funding for Syria’s neighbors,” but whereas the federal government has no constitutional authority to give these billions to the UNHCR or any other “humanitarian” agency, it simultaneously insists it cannot afford the few million dollars needed to adequately secure our borders.
- At the UN Conference on Aid to Syria, held in London in February 2016, donor governments showered UNHCR and other UN “relief agencies” with another $11 billion with no guarantee whatsoever that they will adopt financial accountability or correct their anti-Christian bias.
- At the above-mentioned London donors’ conference, Secretary Kerry (on behalf of President Obama and the American taxpayers) pledged another $890 million for Syrian aid.
- An enormous “Refugee Lobby” comprised of hundreds of organizations that collect over $1 billion annually is using taxpayers’ money against them, presenting a false front of popular support for the administration’s refugee resettlement program.
- The Obama administration, along with its paid Refugee Lobby activists and sympathetic media allies, is attempting to quell all opposition to the refugee resettlement surge by characterizing opponents as bigoted, xenophobic, intolerant, and racist.
Security? What Security?
The ongoing war and chaos that currently engulfs much of Africa and the Levant, with millions of homeless, transient refugees, makes it virtually impossible to conduct background checks on the hundreds of thousands of applicants who want to come to the United States. Top intelligence officials have publicly and privately acknowledged that they have no way to properly vet Syrian refugees to weed out those who may be ISIL/ISIS terrorists, or may have ties to other terrorist and extremist groups. In testimony before a subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee in February 2015, the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Michael Steinbach, confirmed that authorities are unable to conduct any meaningful security checks on the Syrian refugees.
It would be impossible to vet the Syrians, he said, because “there is a lack of information,” and “I just don’t think you can go and get it.” In responding further to questions about why we can’t get that information, Steinbach replied: “We’re talking about a country that’s a failed state, that does not have any infrastructure, so to speak. So, all the datasets, the police, the intel services you would normally go and seek that information [from] don’t exist.” Representative John Katko (R-N.Y.), remarked: “And that obviously raises a grave concern about being able to do proper background checks on the individuals coming into the country.” “Yes,” Steinbach replied.
With more than 20,000 foreigners reportedly involved in fighting in Syria, the U.S. intelligence community cannot even ascertain whether or not the “Syrian refugees” are actually Syrians. “We don’t have it under control,” Steinbach told the committee. “Absolutely, we’re doing the best we can. If I were to say that we had it under control, then I would say I know of every single individual traveling. I don’t. And I don’t know every person there and I don’t know everyone coming back. So it’s not even close to being under control.”
More recently, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 9, 2016 that ISIS is “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow.” Clapper added that they were “pretty skilled at phony passports so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers.”
Billion $ Refugee Network
“Once in the U.S., refugees seize the chance for a new beginning,” the State Department’s website tells us. “With the assistance of more than 300 local resettlement agencies, refugees put down roots, attend school, get jobs, pay taxes and become productive members of their communities. They start businesses and make our communities more vibrant and diverse. Refugees share many of America’s values: courage, resilience, openness to new experiences, and the determination to rebuild their lives in a new land.”
It’s a nice, feel-good pitch, and it’s obviously true with regard to some refugees, but as we saw above, it doesn’t fit the standard refugee profile. The vast majority of Middle East refugees are on food stamps, as well as receiving housing, cash welfare, education, and healthcare benefits.
And, one of the hidden costs — both economic and security-wise — is the seldom-mentioned “mental health” price tag. This invisible and alarming topic was soberly addressed in a recent Associated Press article entitled, “Refugee mental health needs could overwhelm, experts fear.”
“For the thousands of Syrian refugees expected to arrive in the U.S. in coming months, the first order of business will be securing the basics — health care, jobs, education and a safe home,” reported AP writer Philip Marcelo. The AP report offers these somber observations:
Experts estimate 10 to 20 percent of incoming Syrians will have war-related psychological problems warranting treatment.
At about two years after arrival reality hits and mental health problems appear according to Dr. Richard Mollica at Harvard.
“They’re in the honeymoon phase,” said Richard Mollica, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School who has spent decades working with torture and genocide victims. “In the first year, they’re so happy to be out of that situation. They feel something wonderful is going to happen in America.
“It’s only about two years later or so when there’s a mental health crisis,” he said. “It’s at that point that reality hits and they really need a lot of mental health care.”
Extensive and expensive mental healthcare, by the way. “Failure to address them could lead some refugees to withdraw from society, increasing the chances they’ll be drawn to extremist groups,” warns the AP story, quoting Bengt Arnetz, a professor at Michigan State University who has been studying trauma in Middle Eastern refugees.
This back-end cost (and the potential security threat) is never mentioned, of course, by the government officials and “volunteer” organizations that are enthusiastically promoting the idea of “welcoming communities” to accept the planned refugee surge. A map of the United States produced by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration depicts the areas where its “contractor” organizations are established to bring the migrant wave to the predesignated “welcoming communities” — before most of these communities ever realized they had put out a welcome mat. Unbeknownst to most Americans, this enormous lobby of tax-funded organizations has built a nationwide network to clamor for a non-stop flow of migrants claiming refugee or asylum status.
The color-coded legend on the State Department’s U.S. map provides acronyms for the nine biggest contractor organizations that guide the activities (and the federal funding) to over 350 organizations in 180 cities. Those acronyms, and the organizations they stand for, are: CWS — Church World Service; EMM — Episcopal Migration Ministries; ECDC — Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc.; HIAS — Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; IRC — International Rescue Committee; LIRS — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service; USCCB — US Conference of Catholic Bishops; USCRI — U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; and WR — World Relief.
According to Ann Corcoran, editor of RefugeeResettlementWatch.org, the tax records of these organizations show they take in well over $1 billion in federal taxpayer funding annually. And that does not include all of the costs to state and local taxpayers through various welfare, training, and education programs provided to refugees. It also does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars provided by tax-exempt foundations, churches, and corporations. As a result, the Refugee Lobby has plenty of cash, both to fund “expert” testimony and lavish multimedia presentations, as well as to organize and transport large contingents to state capitals, city council meetings, county commission hearings, school board meetings, and public demonstrations, thus creating the false impression of popular support.
However, even though President Obama and the well-oiled, tax-financed Refugee Lobby have the advantages of the White House bully pulpit, the federal bureaucracy, huge funding sources, and free propaganda from friendly media, a solid majority of Americans strongly opposes expanded Islamic refugee resettlement in the United States, opinion polls (Bloomberg, Quinnipiac, Pew, CNN) consistently show. But that opposition must be educated, energized, and mobilized, if the Obama Refugee Express is to be derailed and stopped. We must motivate state governors and legislatures, local officials, and the U.S. Congress to stand against this suicidal onslaught.
Photo of migrants on a freight train in Mexico heading to the U.S.-Mexico border: AP Images
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