Update March 22nd: This same Op-Ed is published at the Gulf Times and they have a poll, go there and answer the poll question—should we bring Syrians into the US or not?
This is no surprise to us, the rumblings have been underway for months by others of the nine major US State Department resettlement contractors. Now comes a Washington Post opinion piece by David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to go above the 70,000 refugees we are in the process of admitting from all over the world. (See Hebrew Immigrant Immigrant Aid Society with the same plea for Obama to open the gates to Syrians.)
Doing well by doing good?
For new readers, David Miliband is the former British Foreign Secretary who has moved across the Atlantic to serve as the CEO of the IRC.*** His predecessor pulled down a salary and benefits package of nearly $500,000 to “rescue” poor souls and we expect he didn’t pull up stakes in the UK for less than that.
As we were reminded by the Massachusetts contractor, here just a few days ago, this is a business! Contractors are paid by the head to resettle refugees in your towns and cities.
A few weeks ago the FBI testified in Congress that they could not adequately screen the Syrians because there are no records on even who they are. Of course it begs the question, how did we screen over 100,000 Somalis we have admitted to the US over the last few decades?
Miliband first gives us the guilt trip about how countries in the Middle East are suffering with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and somehow we need to do our share. Somehow the fact that we send millions of dollars in aid for the refugees isn’t enough.
And, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is helping pressure Obama by placing over 10,000 Syrians in a queue for America.
Past experience tells us that once the pipeline is open for permanent resettlement to the US, it will be open for potentially decades even if the civil war wrapped up tomorrow!
Notice that Miliband never says a word about Christians and other religious minorities. We know that the vast majority of those in the pipeline are Syrian Muslims from UN camps.
Here is Miliband at the Washington Post giving us three things we must do:
First, in light of the dire situation in Syria, it can raise the 70,000 cap specifically to accommodate Syrian refugees over the next two years.
Second, it can ensure that DHS issues needed guidance on “material support” waivers created in 2014, thus avoiding delays and denials to Syrians who have committed no wrongs. [These same contractors successfully lobbied the Administration to lift the material support for terrorism ban, and apparently DHS has never published any regulations. Some inside the Administration are evidently trying to protect us!—ed]
Third…The United States can expand resettlement options by establishing, through the refugee program, a family reunification mechanism enabling Syrian Americans to bring extended family to safety more quickly.
On this last point, we already have mechanisms in place to bring LEGITIMATE family members to the US—we call it chain migration!
*** The IRC has the largest budget of the nine contractors. Approximately 73% comes from you:
International Rescue Committee (secular)
(From 2012 Form 990)
Total revenue: $456,122,865
Govt. grants and contracts (including travel loan income): $332,271,151
Percent taxpayer funded: 73%
Top salary: $485,321