Author and refugee expert, Don Barnett, writing at the Center for Immigration Studies tells us what is wrong with the US State Department’s new plan for bringing refugee families to the US.
Barnett’s introduction first recaps what we have said previously, here.
Most of the “family reunification” provisions in the U.S. refugee program have been suspended for the past 2 years. The Priority 3 (P-3) resettlement category was closed for refugees since summer 2008 when U.S. officials found that most refugees from Africa using the P-3 program were not related at all. The fraud rate among Somali refugees was reported to be as high as 90 percent.
New regulations to combat fraud in the U.S. State Department program were published in the Federal Register for public comment earlier this month with a 60-day public comment period.
Now, here are two issues Barnett finds problematic (emphasis mine):
There are at least two shortcomings with the proposal.
The initial refugee family unit is not verified for relationship.
The initial family in many cases will come over as a husband with one wife, as required by the U.S., but with children from several wives. Much if not most of the current refugee influx is from polygamous societies.
The children from this original family unit could legally bring in their mothers. Presumably this is not a problem for the planners, who may even have designed the program for this outcome. But, since there is no verification of the original family unit, completely unrelated children will come in who then have the right to put their biological parents into the enhanced priority program. These individuals will then be able to legally bring in their other children and their parents who, in turn, can bring in relatives and so on.
The second shortcoming is that the DNA verification program does not cover refugees and asylees who petition for relatives to come over under the I-730 program or non-refugee immigrant categories. An I-730 petition is the far more desirable avenue as it brings the rights and entitlements of refugee status.
For more information, please visit CIS here.