Well, what do you know, some international criticism building because the US has not opened its arms (yet!) to mass numbers of Syrian refugees.
But, as I have pointed out on many occasions, Obama’s name is never linked with the criticism as Bush’s was always linked in media blasts every month for probably a year before the Bush Administration opened the spigot for Iraqi refugees (that are now coming in at a rate of over 20,000 a year!).
We have also been pointing out that the refugee resettlement contractors*** have been demanding 12,000-15,000 Syrians a year be admitted. They were getting geared up—finding new towns in which to resettle them—and then a few weeks ago the boom dropped when the FBI testified in the House Homeland Security Committee that there is no way they can properly screen the Syrians. Of course, there is no way to properly screen the over 800 Somalis entering the US every month now either!
This is interesting news, despite the lifting of the ban on material support, the Obama Administration has yet to apply the lesser screening requirements to Syrians.
By the way, if you saw the record-breaking post on Spartanburg, SC you know that one group World Relief would like to settle in South Carolina is Syrians.
We have resettled around 500 Syrians so far. Approximately 87% are Muslims. See where they have been placed in the US in the first three months of FY2015, here.
There is one way to get around this worry over screening Muslims, don’t bring Muslims!
We could join Canada and say only Christians and other minorities are permitted entry into the US!
By continuing to select Syrians for America, the UN is putting political pressure on our Homeland Security Department to step it up. There will be much wailing that we couldn’t possibly be so mean as to leave all these people waiting in line!
From The Guardian (emphasis below is mine):
The US is preparing to permanently resettle thousands of the millions of Syrians forced to flee their homes during the country’s four-year civil war. But as the lengthy resettlement process speeds up, some human rights advocates are concerned that certain refugees are being unfairly excluded. [Once the pipeline is open, and even if the civil war comes to an end, the flow of permanent refugees from Syria will continue for years.—ed]
So far, the US has accepted only tiny numbers of Syrians: 105 in the year to October 2014 and just 36 in the year before that, although it has stepped up admissions with 350 refugees in the past four months.
Last year officials eased the “material support” rule under US immigration law that was designed to prevent terrorist sympathisers from entering the US but instead acted as a dragnet, ensnaring Syrians with no real connection to terrorism. More than a year later, however, advocates say they still have not seen the exemptions applied to Syrian refugee cases.
“What this means is that a lot of people who need protections and who might fall under those ‘material support’ inclusions – by no fault of their own – aren’t getting protection in the US,” said Noah Gottschalk, senior humanitarian policy adviser for Oxfam America. “And that means that a number of people who are among the most vulnerable in the world are being denied protections that they very much need.”
Representatives from a handful of refugee aid groups said they were still waiting for the the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release guidelines on how to apply the rule change. Until then, they said, Syrian refugees applying for residence in the US were at risk of being denied entry for an act as small as selling sandwiches to rebel fighters. [This is a straw man argument, what refugee in his right mind is going to report on an application for admission to the US that he/she gave sandwiches to rebels?—ed]
“Our main concern at this stage is the absence of that guidance,” said Anna Greene, the policy and advocacy director for US programmes at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). [The IRC is a contractor looking for more paying “clients” to resettle.—ed]
For those who don’t believe it, here it is again. The UN is picking our refugees!
The US State Department has received more than 11,000 resettlement applications from Syrian refugees in recent months, the vast majority of which are referrals from the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR).
Quick! US taxpayers, hide your wallets!
Don’t worry, terrorist men won’t get in because we are only planning to bring economically needy women, children, senior citizens and sick and disabled people!
Richard (Anne Richard, Asst. Secretary of State for PRM) said the US intended to accept thousands of Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016. She said she did not anticipate security being an issue with the Syrians the UNHCR was referring to the US, as the majority were widows, women and children, elderly people and people with debilitating medical conditions.
*** The federal refugee contractors have been lobbying for up to 15,000 Syrians a year for the US.
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)