It wasn’t long after we first began writing Refugee Resettlement Watch (in 2007) that we saw the media, especially one reporter—Matthew Lee of the Associated Press—begin the drumbeat to bring large numbers of Iraqi refugees to the US. Here is our entire archive on Lee’s apparently personal mission.
Every month as only a “trickle” of Iraqis got in, Lee faithfully reported the number in the trickle and those in the refugee industry he quoted blamed that evil meany George Bush. It turns out though that the slow early arrival of Iraqis had a lot to do with security clearance issues (some terrorists did slip in with the huddled masses of supposedly poor people).
Now, Iraqis make up the largest number of any group getting into the US through the State Department’s Refugee program. 19,491 Iraqis came to the US in FY2013.
The drumbeat for Syrian resettlement had already begun, but when I saw these two companion stories at the Washington Post yesterday, I immediately figured — here we go again! There is a mention in these stories about concerns for security screening, but missing is any blame being heaped on Obama directly. Oh, there is mention of the Obama Administration, but not the man himself. Obama could, if he wanted to, expand the number of Syrians entering the US.
From the article entitled, ‘U.S. says it hopes to offer asylum to 35,000, might include up to 2,000 Syrians,‘ there is nothing here we don’t already know.
The State Department said Thursday that the United States wants to bring in up to 35,000 permanent refugees from the Middle East and South Asia in fiscal 2014. The target would include vulnerable Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians and Pakistanis, as well as Syrians. [See Obama’s Presidential Determination for 2014, here—ed]
The U.N. refugee agency has set an ambitious goal of moving more than 30,000 Syrians into permanent or long-term homes abroad by next October. The United States might take as many as 2,000, although it is unlikely to meet its own target.
Catholics lobby for more Syrians, want to go above Obama’s 70,000 target for 2014
As we reported here earlier in the month, the federal contractors (leading the pack is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) are lobbying to expand that number of Syrians and I suspect it is they who are behind getting stories like these planted in the Washington Post. And, if you are wondering, you should know the Catholic Bishops are not lobbying specifically for the Christian Syrians, they welcome and resettle the Muslim refugees as well.
Watch for more stories like these in the Washington Post critical of the Obama Administration’s apparent reluctance to open our doors to Syrians. Why they are so far reluctant is an interesting question.