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FBI contacting newly arrived Syrian refugees, is the FBI doing this on its own?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 15, 2017

I suppose one could argue that this effort to meet Syrian (mostly Muslim) refugees is harmless, but I have to say I think it is politically tone-deaf at the moment.

Is the FBI getting direction from above or are they making this effort completely without direction? Does no one in the FBI leadership see how this would be upsetting, that it adds fuel to a political fire, or is that exactly what they are doing—making the Trump Admin. look heavy-handed?


FBI agents have been calling Syrian refugees in New Jersey and asking to meet – alarming advocates who say they fear the visits could be a first step toward surveillance at a time when refugees have been cast as a suspect group.


“An FBI official said the effort to meet with Syrian refugees in New Jersey was not a Trump administration initiative, but an effort by the Newark division to reach out to the community.”

The FBI’s Newark division has confirmed that calls were made to refugees, but said agents were only trying to “build trust” and “open lines of communication” with the recently arrived immigrants and not for surveillance.


At least three Syrian refugees received calls last week from an Arabic-speaking agent who requested an in-person meeting, according to advocates who have been helping Syrians adjust to their new lives in the U.S. They were told the meetings were part of a larger outreach effort to check on Syrians and their well-being, the advocates said.

Salim Patel, chairman of the board of the Smile Organization, a Passaic-based nonprofit service group whose clients include many refugees, said the calls were received “with great alarm” because of the political climate, with news of Trump’s immigration ban weighing on people’s minds.


Mohamed Khairullah, an activist aiding refugees who is also Prospect Park mayor, said he worries that the newcomers, who typically don’t speak English, could be coerced into signing something they don’t understand.

“They’re not aware of their rights, and they’re not aware of the protections provided to them by the law or the Constitution,” he said.

In a Facebook message in Arabic, he encouraged families contacted by the FBI to reach out to a lawyer. At Know Your Rights workshops across the state, staffed by civil rights and legal associations, attorneys are giving the same advice.

More here.

Dumb is all I have to say.

6 Responses to “FBI contacting newly arrived Syrian refugees, is the FBI doing this on its own?”

  1. Today, in Lancaster, in the store where I work, police were interviewing one of the managers. Apparently, last night, some ‘culturally enriched’ young men were buying a lot of batteries and gift cards. Valentines Day means so much to them, I guess.


  2. I think it is a great idea. It lets them know someone is watching until we can figure out a way to send them back. And, speaking of “refugees”, why aren’t we doing something to see that the ones who do make it in here are only allowed to stay on a temporary basis? the whole idea behind the refugee scam is that they are supposed to be repatriated once the threat of immediate danger has passed.


    • Ann Corcoran said

      Our refugee program is permanent and has been from its earliest days. It is your members of Congress you must tell if you want it changed!


  3. In my estimation, the FBI should be reaching out to these recent immigrants, looking for insight on the current true picture of what is happening on the ground in the camps and the country. These people can be a breat source of intelligence.


  4. FatherJon said

    Get ready for another 1200 Muslim detainees from Australia’s offshore detention centres. Media reports here today are that American immigration teams are finally in situ, interviewing those who are happy to go to America. Good luck with that!


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