Amri had been denied asylum in Germany due to his terror risk, but was not deported because Tunisia would not accept him since he lacked a passport. Amri carried six different aliases from three nations and had been monitored by German authorities. He was not a “lone jihadist” but part of an ISIS cell, and traveled covertly, like some of the Paris killers, with the refugee flow from the Mediterranean.
All this followed on the heels of November’s Ohio State knife attack by Somali Muslim refugee Abdul Artan. These attacks typify the kinds recommended in ISIS literature, and ISIS claims credit for most of them. With Berlin, Brussels, Orlando, and so many other horrific attacks this year, San Bernardino and Paris almost seem like old news.
Although we view these events with horror and growing alarm, the outgoing Obama administration is literally importing terrorists through our nation’s refugee programs. Because private contractors are paid by the head to resettle refugees and other needy populations, the resettlement program has built-in incentives for uncontrolled growth. This harmonizes with the Left’s open borders agenda, which seeks to swell the rolls of new Democrat voters while weakening the influence of traditional (read conservative) America.
Big business shares this agenda in seeking cheap, subsidized labor. The resulting bipartisan alliance has long subsidized a resettlement industry that is expensive, secretive, duplicitous, and unconcerned about the Americans who pay for it with hard-earned tax dollars. The refugee resettlement program must be abolished in its current form before it puts us on the path toward today’s turbulent France and Germany.
The Real Risk of Increasing Terrorism
The most important risk the current refugee program creates is terrorism. Since 9/11 there have been 580 convictions for terrorism in the United States. At least 40 of these were refugees. Just this year, in addition to the knife attacks by Abdul Artan and Ali Mohamound, four other refugees have committed or attempted to commit acts of terrorism.
Since March 2014 there have been 111 ISIS-related arrests and 60 convictions. There have been nine indictments and six convictions of ISIS supporters in the metropolitan DC area alone. ISIS openly encourages “lone jihadi” attacks, and the State Department now admits ISIS is trying to penetrate the U.S. refugee flow. Some 250 U.S. Muslims from 19 states have either joined or attempted to join ISIS overseas. Many have since returned with little or no oversight.
Let’s be clear: these are not Mennonite terrorists. They are not Episcopalian suicide bombers. Virtually all 580 convictions since 9/11 were Muslim immigrants or American Muslim converts, and the Somali community consistently supplies such malefactors. Yet the Department of Homeland Security has provided tours of airport facilities to groups of Somalis, including explanations of airport inner workings, security protocols, and databases. DHS redacted some of this information as too sensitive to share with the public.
The Refugee Program Is Home to Major Fraud
Virginia knife attacker Ali Mohamound was carrying multiple identities when arrested. The Ohio State terrorist and his family lived in Pakistan for seven years before being resettled to the United States. Why were they not simply resettled in Pakistan? Afghani refugee Ahmad Rahami, the terrorist bomber of New York and New Jersey, originally entered the United States through the asylum program, but then traveled back to Afghanistan, where he apparently became radicalized. How can someone who is supposedly fleeing his home country for his life go back for a visit?
Virtually all U.S. Somalis originally arrived as refugees or asylum seekers or are their children. Many now take months-long trips back to Somalia, contradicting their purported reason for seeking asylum: fleeing Somalia for their lives. Minneapolis actually grants rent relief because Somalis complained about the cost of overdue rent upon their return. The home country visits so many “refugees” make undercut the program’s integrity.
The entire refugee resettlement program has systematic fraud, creating both national security risks and undue fiscal burdens. Refugee advocates claim the vetting process for Syrians is airtight, but U.S. security officials say exactly the opposite. An internal Immigrations, Customs, and Enforcement memo states, “[The] refugee program is particularly vulnerable to fraud due to loose evidentiary requirements where at times the testimony of an applicant alone is sufficient for approval.” The memo goes on to say that “the immigration system is a constant target for exploitation” by terrorists. An Immigration and Naturalization Services assistant commissioner said 95 percent of refugee and asylee applications are fraudulent.
The Obama administration has knowingly and routinely allowed illegal aliens falsely claiming asylum to remain in the United States. A September 2016 DHS Inspector General report found that 1,982 aliens from countries known for immigration fraud or terror-links who were scheduled for deportation were instead granted citizenship using false identities because fingerprint records were missing.
The United Nations selects almost all refugees, and the United States takes more refugees than all other resettlement nations combined. Yet many of the tens of thousands of unvettable Syrians who are accepted don’t meet the refugee definition.
Syrian Christians are facing genocide, and certainly do meet the definition, but represent less than 1 percent of those Syrians resettled so far. Syrian Muslims are more than 98 percent of the total. In the interest of diplomacy we are also resettling populations other countries refuse to take. Most recently, the Obama administration offered to accept 2,465 asylum seekers now being detained by Australia which that country refuses to accept because of their possible ties to terrorism. In response to congressional inquiries, the administration has declared information about this agreement classified.
Heavy Costs for Taxpayers Besides Terrorism Risks
Refugee resettlement is administered by three agencies: the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It has grown and metastasized over the years.
In fiscal year 2016, the program cost $2.4 billion, an increase of 205.4 percent since FY 2009. At the last minute Obama boosted ORR’s request to $3.9 billion for FY 2017 to handle the unprecedented flow of minors now being apprehended at the Southwest border. That’s 14,128 in the past two months alone and a 106 percent increase for the year.
Congress provided a pro-rata share of $500 million of this request in the short-term continuing resolution passed on December 9. It cannot be expended until the new Health and Human Services secretary has been installed. He can withhold some or all of those funds, if he chooses.
The table above shows the numbers resettled by category, a total of 195,231 individuals in FY 2015. This represents 20 percent of all immigrants allowed into the United States annually. The numbers will be significantly higher this year if nothing is done.
Since FY 2009, approximately 1 million migrants have arrived through these programs. Program costs average about $10,000 per head in the first year, and refugee welfare use is off the charts, even after five years (see table below). In fact, refugees resettled in the 1980s still receive welfare at rates well in excess of Americans and other immigrants.
The Center for Immigration Studies has estimated the annual cost of resettling Muslim refugees during the first five years at $12,874 per head. Muslim refugees use welfare at higher rates than average. I have estimated a somewhat lower average of $11,574 per head for the entire group. Cumulatively for the years 2009 through 2015, this cohort alone has cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering $48 billion. Since 1980, 3 million have been resettled.
Migrants Create a Heavy Toll on Communities
State and local costs are significant. When the Refugee Act was first passed, the federal government promised to cover 36 months of states’ share of food stamps, Medicaid, Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) for refugees—a huge subsidy. Today it covers no state costs. Refugees rely heavily on local assistance, and school budgets, costs for translation, and other services have exploded. Following is a sampling of problems in many U.S. communities:
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