Paul: Refugee program deserves more scrutiny!
After reading the opening paragraphs of Paul’s op-ed in the Washington Times today, one might think Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been reading RRW! All of the cases he cites have been reported on these pages!
Fazliddin Kurbanov is from Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country that borders Afghanistan. This month, Mr. Kurbanov was arrested in Boise, Idaho, charged with teaching people how to build bombs that could be used to target public transportation. He is accused of conspiring with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the United States recognizes as a terrorist organization. Mr. Kurbanov was here legally, admitted as a refugee in 2009.
Last year, in Aurora, Colo., Jamshid Muhtorov was arrested and charged with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, which the United States recognizes as a terrorist organization. Like Mr. Kurbanov, Mr. Muhtorov is from Uzbekistan and was also here legally as a refugee.
In 2011, in my hometown of Bowling Green, Ky., Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were arrested and accused of supporting efforts to kill American troops in Iraq. Both men are from Iraq. Both were also here legally as refugees.
The Bowling Green Daily News reported that these Iraqi refugees “slipped through the vetting process that allowed both of them political asylum in the United States.” Apparently, Mr. Kurbanov and Mr. Muhtorov “slipped through” as well.
Read on. Then this:
I condemn government inefficiency and incompetence often. The targets for criticism are endless. In the repeating patterns from these refugee and visa cases, however, we see potentially dangerous scenarios in which we cannot afford any excuses.
These questions are crucial as Congress continues to debate immigration reform, in which vital national security concerns must be addressed. Our visa and refugee programs deserve far more monitoring and scrutiny, and there is something desperately wrong with a “vetting process” that makes so many repeated mistakes.
Instead of fixing the problems, the so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform bill’ (S.744) weakens security measures already in place but doing poorly! Most efforts to strengthen security failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee mark-up largely due to heavy lobbying by refugee resettlement contractors who object to anything that slows the flow of refugees into the US (and slows the flow of taxpayer dollars into their coffers!).
Paul concludes by laying down a marker for Harry Reid. The question then becomes is this a recommendation by Paul or a demand; and will he follow through by holding up the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill *when it reaches the Senate floor?
“I respectfully request that the Senate consider the following two conditions as part of the comprehensive immigration-reform debate: One, the Senate needs a thorough examination of the facts in Massachusetts to see if legislation is necessary to prevent a similar situation in the future. Two, national security protections must be rolled into comprehensive immigration reform to make sure the federal government does everything it can to prevent immigrants with malicious intent from using our immigration system to gain entry into the United States in order to commit future acts of terror.”
The Politico Iowa poll story is here.
*Senator Paul, if you are reading this, please stay away from Grover Norquist!
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