We are always reporting on other states, but we mustn’t forget our home state of Maryland! Although, as Maryland readers will attest, this is not exactly earth-shattering news!
Here the Baltimore Sun reports on efforts by Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski to obtain more funding to speed up the resettlement of mostly Muslim Syrians to the US and to Maryland.
And, although it is at the end, Sun reporter, Ian Duncan, does tell us that the Sessions’ hearing last week revealed that thorough security screening of Syrians is virtually impossible.
Maryland’s senators are seeking ways the U.S. government can do more to aid Syrian refugees, joining other officials in the search for a balance between the humanitarian urge to help those who are suffering and the security concerns of admitting masses of people to the United States from a region that has been cracked apart by terrorism.
Sen. Ben Cardin called this week for more funding to process refugee applications, and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski has asked homeland security officials how better technology could speed the vetting process.
About 7,000 refugees from around the world were resettled in Maryland from October 2008 through September 2013, according to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Baltimore office of the nonprofit International Rescue Committee had found homes for 26 Syrians this year through mid-September.
Cardin urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to boost funding for the agencies involved.
“We must support funding to significantly increase the number of refugees screened and admitted into the United States,” Cardin and other Democrats wrote in a letter to the panel’s leaders.
Although it is at the very end of his story, the reporter does mention the important hearing held by Senator Jeff Sessions last week.
The process is also colored by concerns that the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria could try to sneak operatives posing as refugees into the United States.
At a recent hearing, Sen. Jeff Sessions questioned whether immigration officials know enough about individual candidates to determine who might pose a national security risk.
“We have little or no information about who the people are, no background information, no ability to determine whether they are radicalized now or might become radicalized after their arrival in the United States,” the Alabama Republican said.
Adding Muslim diversity to Baltimore!
Be sure to check out some recent posts on refugee resettlement to Baltimore here and here. An Islamic charity affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood is ‘helping’ refugees resettle in Maryland. I wonder if they assist ol’ Ben and Babs with a little campaign help as well, just as CAIR is doing in CT, here, for another Democrat Senator.
Where is Governor Hogan on all of this? Does anyone know?