2,000 Syrian “refugees” already in the pipeline on the way to US

According to Northern Voices Online (a publication from Northern India), 2,000 Syrians have already been approved to come to the US in 2013, along with 30,000-40,000 additional Iraqis!  I guess this is another bit of new information for the Republican immigration wizards, those boys in a bubble—Rubio and Graham.

Taking names? Angelina Jolie meeting with Syrian ‘refugees’ this week. Demotix / Splash News

WASHINGTON, Up to 2,000 Syrian refugees pre-approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would start new lives in America in 2013, US officials said late on Wednesday Kelly Gauger, a senior official with the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration responded to reporters at a briefing, marking World Refugee Day on June 20 (today), where she explained that DHS has not been able to gain access to Syria since March 2011, when demonstrations leading to the current conflict began.

The 2,000 Syrians coming to the US were interviewed in person and adjudicated more than two years ago, but would be subject to further US government screening.

As for Iraq refugees, Gauger noted there were also between 30,000-40,000 Iraqi refugees with pending applications. Since 2007, 86,000 Iraqis have been admitted into the US.  [Someone tell Senator Rand Paul!—ed]

According to Simon Henshaw, also a senior official with the bureau, 70,000 refugees from around the world will be admitted to the US this year.

Refugees considered for resettlement by the US must have already fled their home country, and were referred by UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.

The US typically accepts half of all UNHCR referrals.  [I bet its a lot higher percentage than that!—ed]

Also, the Obama Administration has just extended Temporary Protected Status for Syrians already in the US, but I’ll post separately on that.

Rand Paul speaks out again on refugees; Huffington Post reporter shows bias?

…..or is she just plain uninformed?

Immigration reporter Elise Foley seems to sneer at Senator Paul and may have purposefully left a few facts out of this article on Paul at HuffPo yesterday‘They Bring ‘Em In,’ Sign Them Up For Welfare.

Huffington Post immigration reporter Elise Foley

Perhaps we should direct Ms. Foley (and her editors!) to our new Fact Sheet here at RRW!

Paul is exactly correct in paragraph one:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the U.S. should be skeptical of accepting refugees, from Iraq in particular, because they take welfare and could plan attacks on American soil.

No where in this article does Ms. Foley report that two Iraqi refugees were arrested and have been found guilty of terrorist activities in Paul’s home town of Bowling Green, Kentucky.  So she leaves this terror threat concept hanging out there, like there is no evidence this could happen.

She continued, in paragraph two, with a glaring error (one I feel sure Paul did not make and if he did should have been given the opportunity to correct).  And, yes, Ms. Foley we did have refugees attack us here (have you forgotten about the Tsarnaevs in Boston?).  But, that isn’t the error I’m focused on here.  It’s not 95 people of 70,000 on food stamps, it is 95% of 70,000.*  By leaving it uncorrected she clearly is happy to make Paul look ridiculous because who would quibble with 95 refugees out of 70,000 getting help with food.

Foley continued quoting Paul:

“We have had refugees attack us here. Ninety-five [percent!–ed] of our 70,000 Iraqi refugees are on food stamps, majority are in government housing, 46 percent are unemployed,” he said on “The Simon Conway Show” — incidentally a day before World Refugee Day [reporter snark!—ed]. “It’s one thing to have a big heart and invite people to our country, and if you do it in a small fashion, the churches and the people take care of them, that’s one thing. But like in my town in particular, they bring ’em in and there is someone whose job and expertise is to sign them up for welfare as soon as they get here.”

Paul has it exactly right, a taxpayer funded refugee resettlement contractor in Bowling Green gets the refugees signed up for welfare benefits and then this idea, that Paul throws out of churches and people taking care of refugees (privately!), is the solution to our entire refugee mess!  It has been my view from day one that if refugee families were PRIVATELY sponsored by churches or civic organizations (no contractors!) for a year or two we wouldn’t have the huge drain on the federal treasury; tensions between refugees and the community would be lessened; and we would have a better chance that refugees would ASSIMILATE!

Paul questioned previously why we should be taking Iraqis to America in the first place since we gave them a democratically elected government and their internal Islamic (Sunni v. Shia) squabbles are not our problem.  But, here Ms. Foley wants the reader to believe that Iraq is still our problem because we went to war there.  There is the legitimate Christian persecution issue, but we (US State Department or even the Catholic Bishops) are not going out of their way to rescue Iraqi Christians anyway.

The U.S. has a long tradition of accepting refugees and has resettled more than 3 million since 1975, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Since 2007, the country has admitted nearly 85,000 Iraqi refugees, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, with more people fleeing the country due to escalated violence stemming from the Iraq War.  [Or stemming from their Islamic internal conflicts—ed]

***Update*** State Department said yesterday that 30,000-40,000 Iraqi refugee applications are pending, here.

Senator Paul’s amendment to beef up security measures in the Gang of Eight bill was defeated:

Paul proposed an amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate, which he called “Trust but Verify,” that would increase the already intensive screening of those refugees and asylum-seekers.

Opponents of the amendment, which failed 37 to 61, argued that among other things, it painted foreign students, refugees and asylum-seekers as potential terrorists. The amendment would also hold up a path to citizenship in the “gang of eight” immigration bill until Congress had voted that the border was adequately secure.

Paul did the unthinkable according to Ms. Foley!  He used the word refugees in proximity to the word terrorist!  So, Ms. Foley what about the Iraqi refugees sentenced to prison in KY or the Tsarnaev carnage in Boston?  We have nothing to fear from refugees that would warrant a little extra screening?

In a statement ahead of the vote on his amendment, Paul referred to refugees in one sentence, and then terrorists in the next. 

“Individuals here under asylum or refugee status must register in a program providing increased screening and a means to make sure that the federal government has an idea where people in these programs reside,” he said. “We should remember that most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on visa overstays.”

Paul also said, if Iraqi refugees aren’t finding work, maybe they should just go back to Iraq!  Funny thing is, disgusted with America after finding life is tough here, some have gone back to Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East, but the State Department isn’t telling you that!

More here.

* Readers, this statistic 95% of Iraqi refugees are receiving food stamps comes from the 2009 ORR Annual Report to Congress.  The figure may have improved since then, but we don’t know because every day the ORR is breaking the law by not supplying Congress with the reports for 2010, 2011 and 2012.  There are only two possible reasons for failing to submit those reports—incompetent management or they don’t want Congress and the public to know how horrible the stats are for refugee employment and welfare use (or how much largesse the contractors are receiving!).

Maybe Senator Paul should look into the missing reports problem.  Hint!  Contact Ken Tota, Deputy Director ORR, 202-401-4858.