The State Department set a new record for approving the admission of Syrian refugees (Syrian refugee camp shown) on May 23, with 225 applications. This was followed by 80 such approvals the next day.
A report in the Washington Times, which broke the story, noted that State approved more people on Monday than during the entire months of January or February.
The Times quoted a statement about the administration’s refugee policy from Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, who said:
The Obama administration is on full throttle to admit as many people as possible before the time clock runs out on them. This is the classic scenario when political expediency trumps prudence, and someone slips through who shouldn’t have, and tragedy ensues.
The United States has committed to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees, and as of February had resettled 2,819 of these. However, that number is just a starting point, if we consider a statement made last year by Secretary of State John Kerry.
During a joint press appearance in Berlin with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier last September 20, Kerry revealed the Obama administration’s plan to drastically increase the flow of refugees into the United States, citing specifically refugees from Syria. “We are now going to go up to 85,000 with at least, and I underscore the ‘at least’ — it is not a ceiling, it’s a floor — of 10,000 over the next year from Syria specifically even as we also receive more refugees from other areas,” said Kerry “And in the next fiscal year, we’ll target 100,000, and if it’s possible to do more, we’ll do [more].”
Most Americans have demonstrated a generous amount compassion for the plight of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria, but are nevertheless concerned about the distinct possibility of terrorists hiding among the refugee flow and entering our nation, as some have done in Europe.
Following the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks at least 27 state governors declared their refusal to accept refugees, and questioned whether the vetting process used by our government was adequate to screen out terrorists.
The first governors to make public statements on the refugee situation were Republicans Rick Snyder of Michigan and Robert Bentley of Alabama, both of whom issued individual statements on November 15 declaring that their states would not be open to the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
In his statement, Snyder made note of Michigan’s “rich history of immigration,” before saying: “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
That same day, in Alabama, Bentley said in his statement: “As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way. The acts of terror committed over the weekend are a tragic reminder to the world that evil exists and takes the form of terrorists who seek to destroy the basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve.”
About that time, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent an open letter to President Obama that stated, in part:
As governor of Texas, I write to inform you that the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.
Further, I — and millions of Americans — implore you to halt your plans to accept more Syrian refugees in the United States. A Syrian “refugee” appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack. American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger. The reasons for such concerns are plentiful.
The FBI director testified to Congress that the federal government does not have the background information that is necessary to effectively conduct proper security checks on Syrian nationals, Director Comey explained: “We can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.”
Abbott’s assertion that “a Syrian ‘refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack” has merit. Last October, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the individual that French and Belgian officials identified as the mastermind of the attack, falsely identified himself as Ahmad al Muhammad and was allowed to enter Greece among the waves of Syrian refugees flooding into Europe. Abaaoud had become radicalized as a young man and began working with radicals in Syria, even recruiting his 13-year-old brother to join him in that country. Abaaoud fled Belgium to Syria following a January 15 police raid on a terrorist operation he belonged to. In February, he was quoted by the Islamic State’s [ISIS] English-language magazine, Dabiq, as saying that he had secretly returned to Belgium to lead the terror cell. That he reentered the country so easily, despite his picture having been broadcast in the news, is indicative of the very poor border security prevalent in Europe.
There is little reason to believe that U.S. border security is any better than Europe’s. Chris Cabrera, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, told Fox News in 2014 that border security is so bad that the federal government is allowing murderers from Central America to be released into the United States. Cabrera also told National Review in an interview that Border Patrol agents have reunited identified gang members — including members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) transnational gang — with their families in the United States.
When the first waves of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria started entering Europe in 2015, former U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) wrote an article pinpointing the ultimate cause of the crisis, which The New American reprinted. Among the causes of the crisis, Paul identified one that was of particular importance:
The reason so many are fleeing places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq is that US and European interventionist foreign policy has left these countries destabilized with no hopes of economic recovery. This mass migration from the Middle East and beyond is a direct result of the neocon foreign policy of regime change, invasion, and pushing “democracy” at the barrel of a gun.