UNHCR putting pressure on US to take in more Syrians; security concerns still the hold-up
Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 18, 2015
There is nothing much new in here that we haven’t already reported, but I want readers to know that the UN is agitating for us to get moving on allowing in what will amount to be 90% or so new Muslim migrants from Syria.
Because the UNHCR got ahead of itself and pre-selected 11,000 Syrians for America, those 11,000 will be used to put public relations pressure on the security-minded Republicans who are holding a finger in the dyke right now.
Here is the New York Times (via the Telegram):
The United States is scheduled to take in its largest tranche of Syrian refugees to date — up to 2,000 by this fall, compared with a total of about 700 since the civil war in Syria began four years ago, according to the State Department.
The U.S. decision to accept more refugees reflects how swiftly the Syrian civil war has morphed into the most pressing humanitarian crisis in recent years. Generally, resettling large numbers of refugees happens long after other options are exhausted, like the possibility of displaced people eventually returning home.
Will terrorists enter the US among refugees chosen by UN?
But just as refugee admissions have faced political resistance in Europe, the plan to step up Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States has stirred pushback from Republican lawmakers in Congress, who are increasingly vocal about the fear that terrorists may sneak in with the refugees.
While the Republicans have not called for a full-on moratorium on Syrian refugee admissions, they have urged the Obama administration to go slow, until the United States can be assured that all applicants are properly screened. A congressional hearing is due in the coming weeks.
“In the case of Syrian refugees, our intelligence on the ground is alarmingly slim, making it harder to identify extremists,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in an emailed statement.
“As we have heard from intelligence officials, we do not have enough information to confidently screen these individuals,” he said. “We need to put our foot on the brakes until we have more certainty that terrorist won’t slip through our fingers.” In February, McCaul wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding details about refugees who have been admitted or are in the pipeline, including their ages, ethnicities and religion. He also wanted to know how U.S. officials are screening Syrians.
A State Department official said refugees applying for resettlement to the United States are “the most carefully vetted of all travelers to the United States,” with security checks by a host of U.S. agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center and the Defense Department.
“Accepting refugees is an American tradition with bipartisan support in Congress,” said Simon Henshaw, principal deputy assistant secretary at the State Department. “The question is not whether we take them in, but ensuring that we admit refugees in a way that is safe and consistent with our national security interests.”
The UN has 11,000 they have picked for your towns!
The United Nations has a list of more than 11,000 people who are waiting to be screened by U.S. officials for possible resettlement.
The U.N. refugee agency, which does the first round of vetting, says the people on the list are among the most vulnerable, including single mothers and their children, victims of torture and people with special medical needs. But few of them will be accepted anytime soon. Henshaw said the reason the United States is admitting fewer than 2,000 this year is “to make sure we’ve got the process right.”
You gotta laugh, even if the women, children and sick people aren’t terrorists they will be VERY EXPENSIVE for the US taxpayer to care for!
“Aid groups” want 65,000 Syrians before Obama leaves office.
But, the damn NYT can’t bring itself to mention that these are not ‘charities’ but in fact are largely paid by the taxpayer to resettle refugees—there is money in it for them!
At the same time, the administration is facing pressure from aid groups that want the United States to increase the numbers of refugee admissions significantly, and to let them in much faster.
They contend that the United States should take in at least half the people the U.N. refugee agency wants to resettle in the West, which would amount to about 65,000 Syrians in the next two years. [See former British Foreign Secretary pushing the 65,000 demand, here.—ed]
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