As we reported here yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing this past week on asylum fraud, but in his opening remarks, Chairman Bob Goodlatte signals that he is pretty happy with the Refugee program we have now.
Earlier this year I made some trips to Capitol Hill to discuss with staffers the problems (as well as cost) with the program and to emphasize the need for oversight hearings and was met with a wall of resistance. Bottomline is that even if asylum fraud is open to investigation, no one on the Hill wants to get near the Refugee program with a ten foot pole.
Clearly fearing that they will be called mean “racists” and “xenophobes” for even suggesting there could be problems with the structure of the 1980 law that basically turned refugee resettlement over to unaccountable contractors, no oversight is planned (even though there were staffers who were very aware of the failings).
In fact, S.744, the Senate’s “comprehensive immigration reform” bill will expand the program and the funding for the contractors.
Here are the opening remarks by Chairman Goodlatte (I’m told he was a former immigration lawyer):
Chairman Goodlatte: The United States of America is extremely hospitable to immigrants, asylees, and refugees. Our nation’s record of generosity and compassion to people in need of protection from war, anarchy, natural disaster, and persecution is exemplary and easily the best in the world.
We have maintained a robust refugee resettlement system, taking in more United Nations designated refugees* than all other countries combined. We grant asylum to tens of thousands of asylum seekers each year. We expect to continue this track record in protecting those who arrive here in order to escape persecution.
As far as I know, the Refugee Act of 1980 has never been reviewed by any oversight committee of Congress. Such a review is long overdue!
*See my previous post about the UN picking which refugees we take.