Update November 7th, 2010: Comment period ending for new regulations for this program, here.
Update May 30th, 2010: Somali family reunited in Utah, program must be open, here.
Update November 20th: AP reporting the program may re-open soon, here.
Update April 13th, 2009: State Department working to get program up and running later this year, here.
Update Dec. 12th: Washington Post gets around to writing about the fraud, here.
US News and World Report publishes information also.
Update Nov. 29th: Big city paper finally catches up to this story here.
Update Nov. 26th: Are terrorists recruiting in US Somali communities?
Update Nov. 23rd: More facts from an insider here.
Update Nov. 20th: Columnist Diana West pulls the whole story together here.
Update Nov. 19th: St. Paul news story says refugees bought their way in for $10,000 a pop.
Update later on Nov. 18th: Now the State Department has come out with a slightly modified “fact sheet” which says all P-3 family reunification is suspended worldwide.
Background added Nov. 18th: Since so many new readers are coming to this post, you might also want to see the extent of the family reunification program as reported by the Migration Policy Inst. here. Also, see my research on Somali refugee numbers here.
Be sure to read all the comments to this post from people who know what is going on!
Update Nov. 16th: Tennessee newspaper runs with this story, here.
Unbelievable! Take note citizens of welcoming towns like Ft. Morgan and Greeley, CO, or not so thrilled towns like Postville, IA, Shelbyville, TN, and Grand Island, NE, the US State Department has confirmed that tens of thousands of Somalis have entered the US illegally through the US Refugee Admissions (P-3 family reunification) Program, possibly for as long as 20 years.
We had reported in August that random DNA testing demonstrated that 80% of those seeking entry into the US from African countries (mostly Somalis) were not related to those they claimed as relatives. In light of that shocking revelation, the program was temporarily suspended. A fact sheet, published today by the State Department, fills us in further on details of this outrage.
95% of immigrants using this program are from Africa. 36,000 alone came in the years since 2003 and as high (or higher!) than 80% of those are most likely here illegally. So much for all the volag administrators telling the folks in these towns being swamped by Somalis that their new neighbors have been thoroughly screened by Homeland Security! How do you screen someone when you don’t even know who they are?
Rumor has it that many of these illegal aliens bought their way into the US by purchasing Affidavits of Relationship on the streets of Nairobi. (see the fact sheet for more on AOR’s)
So what I would like to know now is, are we going to prosecute (and deport) the tens of thousands who have come to the US illegally for the LAST 20 YEARS? According to this fact sheet, the next step is up to the Department of Homeland Security (in the Obama administration).
Convenient huh, the State Department has known about this fraud for months but only reports the details now when it is too late for the Bush Administration to do anything about it. Just pass this African hot potato to the next President—The One with African roots.
Here are selected portions of the State Department’s bombshell fact sheet:
Q: What is this program?
A: A “Priority Three,” or “P-3 ” designation grants access to the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) to individuals of certain nationalities who are claimed as a parent, spouse, or minor child by certain legal residents in the United States. Priority One and Two applicants are granted access to the program through a referral by UNHCR, a U.S. Embassy or qualified NGO, or special direct registration programs based on the individual’s vulnerability and/ refugee characteristics. Being granted access to the program is only the first step, however. DHS must determine that an applicant, regardless of priority, is a refugee under U.S. law and is otherwise admissible.
Access to the USRAP based on family ties has been available to various nationalities since the 1980s. In recent years, applications to the P-3 program have been overwhelmingly African – primarily Somalis, Ethiopians and Liberians – accounting for some 95% of the P-3 applications.
Q: Why did the US decide to conduct DNA testing of some nationality groups applying for resettlement in the US?
A: The Departments of State and Homeland Security jointly decided to test a sample of refugee cases due to reported fraud in the P-3 program, particularly in Kenya.
Q: What is the rate of fraud that has been discovered?
A. The rate of fraud discovered varies among nationalities and from country to country, and is difficult to establish definitively as many individuals refused to submit DNA samples. We were, however, only able to confirm all claimed biological relationships in fewer than 20% of cases (family units). The remainder contained at least one negative result (fraudulent relationship) or refused to be tested.
Q: What measures will be taken against the thousands of refugees who have come into the United States through the P-3 program in the last 20 years?
A: That is a question for the Department of Homeland Security.
Q: Why did you only conduct DNA testing in Africa?
A: We began in Africa because African P-3s have accounted for more than 95% of P-3 refugee arrivals worldwide in recent years. In addition, we received frequent reports – which were correct, as it turned out – that there was widespread fraud in the program there.
Q: How many relatives of refugees or asylees have come from Africa to the US via the P-3 program in recent years?
A. Since October 1, 2003, some 36,000 people have arrived from Africa through the P-3 program.
Q: How many P-3s were admitted to the United States, from elsewhere in the world, in recent years?
A: Since October 1, 2003, some 400 people have arrived from other parts of the world through the P-3 program.