How is it that nearly 50 percent of our refugee intake this year, and for most of the past decade, is Muslim when most of the people being persecuted are other religious minorities at the hands of Islamic factions? And how is it that so many Muslim refugees are being settled in an overwhelmingly Christian country when the wealthy Muslim countries of the Persian Gulf have declined to take in a single refugee?
This is especially salient given the fact that it costs 12 times as much to resettle refugees in America as it does to resettle them in neighboring Middle Eastern countries. Put another way, we can save 12 times the number of people caught in the Syrian civil war by paying to resettle them in Saudi Arabia and Qatar than in America.
According to a Pew analysis released today, 46 percent of all refugees admitted to this country for FY 2016 are Muslim. Using data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, Pew found that 28,957 Muslims were admitted as refugees for the first ten months of this fiscal year, slightly more than the 27,556 Christians.
Here is the breakdown of Muslim refugees by country of origin:
|Syria - 8,511||Burma - 2,554|
|Somalia - 7,234||Afghanistan - 1,948|
|Iraq - 6,071||Other countries - 2,639|
These numbers do not include other categories that are similar to refugee status, such as Special Immigrant Visas (SIV). Several thousand SIV’s are admitted from Afghanistan and Iraq each year, and Congress is in the process of approving another 4,000 from Afghanistan in the upcoming defense authorization bill. While it is hard to ascertain the exact number of Muslim immigrants overall, given that other categories are not tracked by religion, Pew cites its own 2013 survey which pegs the number at roughly 100,000 per year. Several months ago, I cited Census data that indicates the number has likely grown to 150,000 per year.
As Europe has taught us, numbers matter when it comes to Middle Easter immigration, cultural assimilation, and security risks. Why would we repeat their mistakes? When did the American people ever vote for such radical social transformation? So many small towns and counties are being seeded with refugees from radically divergent cultures with values that are often hostile to our constitutional republican political values and enlightened views on human rights.
It is quite evident that if the American people ever had a chance to vote on these policies — if Congress had to renew refugee resettlement policies every year —
this fundamental transformation would be rejected.
Moreover, the entire prevailing practice of bringing in predominantly Muslim refugees from the Middle East violates the spirit of the refugee statutes.
According to existing law, a “refugee” means “any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality … and who is unable or unwilling to return to … that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of … race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion …[.] [Section 1101(a)(42)(A) of Title 8, U.S. Code]. Refugee laws were designed to protect persecuted religious and ethnic minorities, such as Iranian Jews or pro-democracy dissidents in the former Soviet Union.
In Syria and other places in the Middle East, on the other hand, it is Muslims who are doing the persecuting. The laws were not designed to invite in any person caught in a sectarian civil war. Take Somalia, for example. It is almost exclusively a Muslim country. Much like Syria, it is a miserable place to live and is marred in endless civil wars. However, most of the people coming from these countries do not qualify as refugees since they are not personally being persecuted because of their religion, ethnicity, or political views.
What is really going on? Democrats are pushing a Muslim resettlement program on America in order to repeat the mistakes of Europe for their own political gain. It makes no sense from a security or cultural standpoint, or from a humanitarian standpoint to do so, especially when no pressure it being placed on Muslim countries to take in people with similar backgrounds. Rather, this social transformation is being perpetrated on our society without the proper input of the people and their elected representatives, as I note in chapter 8 of Stolen Sovereignty. Much of this is being done at the behest of private taxpayer-funded resettlement groups who have everything to benefit from illegally expanding the definition of a refugee. Given that there aren’t enough Christian or Jewish refugees to pay their salaries (because most have already been driven out of these countries), these groups felt compelled to transform refugee resettlement into a Muslim resettlement program — a program for persecuted minorities into a wholesale population transfer of countries engulfed in civil war.
As I write in Stolen Sovereignty:
[G]iven that the policies are all set by the private refugee resettlement agencies, which see their taxpayer-subsidized salaries and revenue grow commensurate to the number of refugees admitted to the United States their goals will always be to bring in as many refugees as possible – no matter the cost, security risk, the underlying need, or the prudence of settling them here rather than in their regions.
How does the scheme work? More from page 175 of my book:
As far back as 2000, David M. Robinson, a former acting director of the refugee bureau in the State Department, described the insidious power of the contractors as follows: The agencies form a single body [that] wields enormous influence over the Administration’s refugee admissions policy. It lobbies the hill effectively to increase the number of refugees admitted for permanent resettlement each year and at the same time provides overseas processing for admissions under contract to the State department. In fact, the federal government provides about ninety percent of its collective budget. If there is a conflict of interest, it is never mentioned.
If Republicans ever win back the White House, they must reform the Refugee Act of 1980 so that it expires every other fiscal year. As a result, our nation's default position would be such that no refugees are resettled unless the people’s representatives pass a new law. Local governments also need to be empowered to veto any resettlement within their respective jurisdictions. For now, Republicans at least hold the power of the purse and when they return in September, they must cut off funding, at a minimum, for Syrian and Somali refugees. Obama already unilaterally expanded the refugee cap by 15,000 for the current fiscal year and is planning to increase it by another 15,000 — to at least 100,000 total in FY 2017. Congress can and must refuse to fund it.
It’s time vulnerable GOP senators get off the mat, uncurl from their fetal position, and hang this unpopular transformation around the necks of their opponents. If Democrats really want to shut the government down in order to follow in the footsteps of Germany, that is an election fight Republicans should embrace.
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