Update: Iraqi refugee flow to US slow now under Obama
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 6, 2012
There is not a whole lot we don’t already know in this story from USA Today about how the flow of Iraqi refugees into the US has slowed because of stepped-up security checks in the wake of the Kentucky terror arrests last summer. Of course, the average American is saying “what the hell are we bringing Muslim Iraqis here in the first place—we gave them their own Islamic government!”
Predictably, the open borders crowd wants to spin this as a story about how we need to help those Iraqis who helped us, but those two arrested in Kentucky were “humanitarian” refugees and not US government employees.
Here is the gist of the story:
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has dramatically slowed the resettlement of Iraqi refugees — including former U.S. military translators and embassy workers — in the midst of growing concerns about al-Qaeda’s potential ties with some asylum seekers, an administration official says.
Two Iraqi refugees who resettled in the United States in 2009 were arrested in May in Bowling Green, Ky., and are accused of plotting to send weapons and cash to al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, says that intelligence indicates the threat is much broader than the two refugees.
Authorities learned of the Kentucky plot through intelligence gleaned in late 2010, the official said.
“That threat stream led us to re-examine our vetting process for this population and really all of the refugee population,” the official said.
FBI Director Robert Mueller noted last year before the Kentucky arrests that a potential threat rested with “individuals who may have been resettled here in the United States that have had some association with al-Qaeda in Iraq.”
After more than 36,000 Iraqi refugees were resettled in the USA between October 2008 and September 2010, only 9,400 refugees were resettled here the following year. In the last three months of 2011, only 826 Iraqi refugees have been resettled in the United States, according to the State Department.
Fingerprints of one of the Kentucky suspects, Waad Ramadan Alwan, were found on a component of a roadside bomb discovered by U.S. troops in Iraq before he arrived in the United States. But the prints were not in any of the databases that visa applicants were automatically checked against. Alwan pleaded guilty in federal court in December to conspiring to attack U.S. troops in Iraq, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
Neither man had worked for U.S. organizations in Iraq. Both received refugee status for humanitarian reasons.
Note that Alwan pleaded guilty. I’m guessing that there was huge pressure on him to do so because you can bet-your-booties that no one, especially the Obama State Department, wanted a big public trial in Kentucky with Senator Rand Paul on their case!
By the way, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was quaking in his boots when this story broke because I am sure he has been an enabler of refugee resettlement in Kentucky because big businesses in his state need the cheap labor. When a Kentucky citizen activist went to his office for help with the neglect of refugees in Bowling Green a few years ago, he rebuffed her.
Also, I remember so well the beating the Bush Administration got in 2007 and 2008 from the “human rights” (ha-ha) activists with the help of AP’s reporter Matthew Lee about the slow and careful way the Bush homeland security people were screening Iraqis. Once Obama was elected the spigot would be opened—or so they thought.
The slowdown also puts President Obama, who during his run for the White House blasted the George W. Bush administration for doing too little to protect Iraqis who assisted the U.S. mission in Iraq, in an awkward position.
The article goes on to tell us about White House meetings on the security problem but with no mention of Obama Iraqi refugee czar, Samantha Power. Guess she is too busy these days coping with the new “refugee” problems her “responsibility to protect” has caused in Egypt and Libya.
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