Refugee Resettlement or Homegrown Terrorism?
Many Americans have serious concerns about the vulnerability of our unsecured southern border and the danger it presents in allowing easy access to those who are determined to bring destruction on our nation.
But while our attention is focused primarily on that southern border, little notice is paid to a federal program that may well be allowing those with evil intent into our country via legal and taxpayer-funded means.
The Refugee Resettlement/Asylum Program has existed with relatively little fanfare since its inception by lead sponsor Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senator Joe Biden, and signed into law in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. Initially, the goal of the bill was to aid in the urgent needs of individuals facing persecution in their own nation, amend previous immigration law, and provide specific procedures for providing opportunities for those escaping oppression in other countries.
An annual cap of 50,000 “refugees” (definition utilized in the U.N. Protocol) per fiscal year was in place for the program until 1983, allowing the president to increase that cap in the event of an emergency after consultation with Congress.
However, according to data from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, those numbers for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 have increased to just under 70,000.
According to extensive information gathered by the Center for Immigration Studies1, there are many facets of this program which should demand attention from Americans. While the initial purpose of the program was humanitarian in nature, a quite lucrative industry now exists to “resettle” refugees and the opportunity is ripe for abuse and fraud involving government funding of these non-government organizations and non-profit groups. Additionally, the overwhelming majority in recent years, up to 95%, are referred to the U.S. by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a disturbing relinquishing of our nation’s sovereignty from the early years of the program when the large majority of refugees referred were determined by the U.S.
Refugees are now eligible for all manner of welfare assistance, and are being placed in communities across our nation which are often unprepared to deal with the influx of people who have little to no desire to assimilate into American culture. Language barriers complicate and even prevent job opportunities, leading to increased unemployment and economic drains on community resources.
Children of refugees, most if not all unable to speak English, are enrolled in public education systems which are already struggling under burdensome federal mandates and funding that never reaches the classroom. How many of these children will simply fall through the cracks and be unable to ever escape poverty?
But from a national security aspect, just who are we legally allowing to enter our country?
It appears that Michael Steinbach, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, understands the serious threat we face through this program. The conflict in Syria is currently producing the largest group of refugees and the UNHCR has estimated the number could exceed 4 million by December. 2
During a House Homeland Security Committee meeting in February of this year, Steinbach told committee members that the screening process for these refugees will be “difficult” due to a lack of intelligence from a country with a failed infrastructure, and also because of “the lack of our footprint on the ground in Syria.”
Does anyone at any level of our federal government truly know how many of these refugees are not individuals or families escaping persecution, but are instead radical jihadists planning attacks on American soil? How many are coming to America because they want to embrace freedom and liberty rather than simply become permanent participants in our welfare system? How many truly want to assimilate and become Americans who cherish and believe in the Constitution and our Bill of Rights instead of being on a mission to destroy them?
Most critically, just what is our Republican-led Congress that last year promised to stop the fundamental transformation of America doing to immediately reform this program and protect our nation from homegrown terrorists?
1Barnett, Don. “Time to bring refugee program out of the shadows.” Center for Immigration Studies. March 2014. Web.
2”US Lacks Intel to Vet Syrian Refugees: Officials” Newsmax, 11 Feb 2015, Web.
Marcia Chambliss is the Alabama State Coordinator of Smart Girl Politics, a 501(c) (3) non-profit which focuses on conservative issues. She can be reached at: Marcia@sgpaction.com. Her views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Girl Politics.