State Department close to reopening previously fraud-ridden program

Here is a story I am ashamed to say I missed two weeks ago!   According to Matthew Lee of AP, yes, apparently the same Mr. Lee who reported on the last day of every month in the waning months of the Bush Administration that that awful Mr. Bush didn’t let in to the US enough poor Iraqis, here, tells us the State Department will soon re-open the controversial family reunification program.   

And, he reports that nothing will likely be done about the estimated 36,000 Africans (mostly Somalis) who may have gotten into the US by lying.  We admitted over 80,000 Somalis over 25 years.

Although no final decisions have been made, the State Department said it “was close to the end” of a review that had been delayed by the change in administrations. “Now that policy-level people responsible for this issue are in place, we expect to reopen the program with revised procedures in the near future,” an official said.

The suspended pilot program, known as Priority 3, allows foreign — almost all of them African — family members of legal U.S. residents to join relatives here.

With little fanfare [Edit: little fanfare!  It was because they wanted to keep it quiet, the WSJ had it, where were you?] , the program was halted in March 2008 after DNA testing on applicants in Africa found that up to 87 percent of their familial claims were fraudulent.

The experimental program was conducted in late 2007 and early 2008 on about 3,000 people mostly from Somalia, Ethiopia and Liberia who claimed blood relationships with each other and wanted to be reunited with a family member who had been resettled as a refugee in the U.S.

DNA testing was not done on the alleged relatives in the United States. The State Department said it targeted Africans abroad only for genetic testing because they make up 95 percent of applicants to the program. The testing started, officials said, only after suspicions of fraud arose in applications originating among refugees in Kenya.

“We were … only able to confirm all claimed biological relationships in fewer than 20 percent of cases,” the State Department said in a fact sheet. “In the remaining cases, at least one negative result was identified or the individuals refused to be tested.”

Ho hum, fearing the ire of civil rights groups nothing will be done about the possibly 36,000 illegal aliens.

As the U.S. review winds down, questions were raised about what to do with the estimated 36,000 African refugees who arrived in the United States under the resettlement between 2003 and its suspension.   [Edit:  I don’t get why they are only going back to 2003 for this number, we have been resettling Somalis and other Africans long before that, I bet it’s more than 36,000 questionable refugees.]

The Homeland Security Department has jurisdiction to determine if any of those applications were fraudulent but department officials said Thursday they had no plans to check those already in the United States. Such a move would likely draw opposition from civil rights groups.

Gosh, maybe some of those are involved in the Kansas City, MO murder, or the recent Somali murder in Fort Morgan, CO, or the Boys in the Hood we heard about just two days ago,  or Somali gangs in Minneapolis and Seatttle, or the mosque arson we reported this morning, or maybe some of the Somali missing youthsone of whom was arrested just today for attending terrorist training in Somalia.   Nah, it couldn’t be, and besides it’s not worth riling up the diversity-is-strength gang !

Shades of Major Nidal Hasan, wouldn’t you say?

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