A former foreign service officer who worked in several capacities in the US Refugee Admissions Program around the world speaks from first hand experience when she says it is past time—way past time—for Congress to investigate the program.
After outlining examples of fraud that have been identified, Mary Doetsch says this at the Daily Caller:
It’s Time For Congress To Restore The Integrity Of The US Refugee Program
Perhaps even more disturbing than the actual fraud is the fact that this type of investigation is the exception rather than the norm. For decades, little heed has been paid to program’s extensive fraud.
As a former refugee coordinator who served throughout the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Cuba, I saw first-hand the flagrant abuses and scams that permeate the refugee program. I witnessed widespread exploitation and misuse, from identity fraud to marriage and family relation scams, and from private individuals profiting from their involvement in USRAP to distortion of the actual refugee definition to ensure greater numbers of people who are really migrants are admitted as refugees.
During my own time working in this program, I watched USRAP continue to expand unchecked, seemingly without concern for whether it served the best interests of its own citizens or the country.
While refugee admissions have been declining under the Trump administration, there has been almost no focus on programmatic fraud. Midway into the 2018 fiscal year, just over a quarter of the 45,000 individuals proposed in the FY18 refugee ceiling had entered the country. This slow-down in admissions may reduce some fraud, but without structural reform, it cannot be eliminated.
Too many government officials, often under the guise of humanitarianism, have continued to disregard both the external “pay-to-play bribery schemes” of the UN along with the internal fraud within USRAP operations. The once admirable refugee program has lost its integrity and must be reformed. The USRAP is in need of a complete overhaul and it’s time for Congress to take the lead.
This morning as I see CNN crowing about how Trey Gowdy says the FBI did no wrong in planting someone in the Trump campaign, I am reminded of how the chicken! (yes Gowdy!) never lifted a finger to try to get to the bottom of the problems with the USRAP when he was chairman of the subcommittee responsible for overseeing the program.
I told you the other day, that the Trump Administration is putting up Utah resident and former State Department Foreign Service Officer, Ron Mortensen, for the top post at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. The position requires Senate approval and this is the beginning of what lies ahead for Mortensen on The Hill.
There is nothing of major significance in the opinion piece by Holly Richardson (it is the same old stuff used against anyone with Mortensen’s views), but we learned a few more nuggets about the Mormon Church’s open borders viewpoint and its welcoming attitude toward Muslim migrants. And we learned more about Senator Mike Lee (once the darling of the conservative Tea Party movement in America).
The irony is thick. The very week that The New York Times published an opinion piece on “What Islamophobic Politicians Can Learn From Mormons,” Donald Trump nominated an immigration hardliner, Utahn Ron Mortensen, to oversee refugees and migration. As the Times piece points out, since 2015, 49 states have had Republican officials publicly attacking Islam. The one standout was Utah. Now, one Utahn with strong anti-immigrant positions could ascend to a position of prominence.
Nearly half of US Catholics believe it is not our responsibility to resettle refugees
Most of the media blames the change in attitude on Trump’s rhetoric, but I think there has been a sea change in media reporting. There is more and more news available to the general public about the kinds of things I mentioned in my previous post this morning—stories about refugees scamming our welfare programs for example that previously were not published, but are now spread widely by social media!
Ten years ago (nearly 11 now) when I first began writing this blog, stories in the media about refugees were in the genre I called ‘Refugees see first snow’ stories! All were meant to paint refugees in only the most glowing terms.
Now we do see more crime stories like food stamp fraud, Medicaid fraud etc, but also stories about refugee-perpetrated violent crimes and terrorism in the US and around the world.
Fewer Americans believe U.S. should accept refugees
Fewer Americans believe the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees, a shift that has been spurred by President Trump’s efforts to limit them from entering the country, according to a poll released Thursday.
More than half of Americans — 51% — still believe the United States should welcome immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, according to the poll conducted by the non-partisan Pew Research Center. But that number is down from 56% during a similar survey in February 2017.
PORTLAND — Two men from the Twin Cities charged with welfare fraud appeared in federal court Monday seeking release from jail.
At an afternoon hearing, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John Rich III ordered Abdirashid Ahmed, 38, of Lewiston released on $5,000 bond after seizing his passport.
Rich said Ahmed would be equipped with an electronic monitoring device to ensure he does not leave Androscoggin County.
Ahmed was kept Monday night in federal custody at Cumberland County Jail. He was expected to be escorted Tuesday morning to Lewiston and released into the custody of the U.S. Probation Office. He must get permission from that office if he were to seek to leave Androscoggin County in the future, Rich said.
We remember when Jamshid Muhtorov was arrestedattempting to leave the country in 2012 and I have wondered what the heck was going on that his case was not going to trial.
Before reading on, you might want to revisit another notorious case of an Uzbek refugee sentenced to prison in Idaho who subsequently tried to kill the prison warden where he had been incarcerated, see here.
Now to the story from Denver about Jamshid Muhtorov where we learn the trial delay was due to his lawyer’s efforts to challenge the use of information from NSA surveillance:
Trial underway for refugee who challenged NSA surveillance