Refugee Screening Is a Sham
At least one of the bombers in the Paris massacre last weekend allegedly sneaked into France posing as a Syrian refugee. ISIS is infiltrating refugee camps to penetrate Europe and the United States. But on Monday, Obama dismissed the danger, doubling down on his plans to settle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees here. The White House insists Syrian refugees go through “extensive screening.” That’s a deadly lie.
Obama’s own intelligence experts admit screening Syrian refugees is impossible, because the FBI and Homeland Security department have no data on Syrians — no fingerprints, arrest records, travel data — to indicate what these people did in Syria, or even whether they are who they claim to be. “We have no record of them,” FBI Director James Comey cautioned Congress last month “So I can’t sit here and offer anybody an absolute assurance that — there’s no risk associated with this.”
But Obama’s in denial, scolding the nation not to “start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.” Same president who said last Thursday that ISIS had been “contained.”
Last month, Jeh Johnson, secretary of homeland security, was grilled by Congress and asked for assurances that “no terrorist could get through the process” of screening Syrian refugees. “Well,” he said, waffling, “we may have somebody who comes to us and is simply not on our radar for any discernible reason.” Feel safe?
Even when the U.S. had plentiful data to use in screening Iraqi war refugees, terrorists skated through the process. Two terrorists were given the welcome mat to settle in Kentucky, where they lived off food stamps and welfare for two years before the FBI closed in on them in 2011.
Obama’s State Department insists terrorists will be weeded out by a single in-person interview. That’s a joke. Each Syrian refugee selected by the UN for placement in our country is interviewed once by someone with just eight days of training on Syria.
Worse, the interviewers — from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — were ordered last May to relax the standards of who’s safe to let in. It is now OK if your spouse was part of a terrorist organization, provided you can convince the screener you didn’t know you were sleeping with a terrorist. It’s also OK to have a history of supporting a terrorist group yourself — as long as you felt pressured to do it. It doesn’t have to be enough pressure to be considered “duress.” In short, refugees are going to pass that screening as long as they don’t’ strap a Kalashnikov to their chest on the way in.
After the interview, refugees are home free. They board planes to the U.S., where they are met by one of the nonprofit groups that contracts with the State Department to settle these newcomers around the nation. Groups like Catholic Charities and World Church Service. The newcomers are shown to their new homes. Their children are enrolled in local schools and they’re signed up for food stamps, welfare, health care and other benefits.
What’s missing here? How about local law enforcement, who are kept in the dark, along with mayors, schools boards, and governors, about where these refugees are being placed. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had to formally demand the information before learning 14 Syrians had just been placed there. Now dozens of governors — including Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, a Democrat — are saying “no” to more Syrian refugees. They don’t want another Paris massacre in their back yard.
Where’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo? New York is the No. 1 magnet of terrorists, and the FBI scores more arrests for ISIS terrorism plots here than in any other state. No. 2 is Minnesota, where many refugees have been relocated.
The United States already is offering more help to Syrian refugees than any other nation. Obama is telling us not to “close our hearts to these victims.” But we’re not. There’s a difference between helping over there and putting our own families and communities at risk here. Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and author of “Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution.”
Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and author of “Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution.”