Someone asked me to prepare a list of questions I might ask Republican candidates tonight in Milwaukee. So I wrote up a quick list and thought I would share them with you. Now mind you, there is no way that anyone would ever ask the candidates if they would scratch the whole darn Refugee Admissions Program, so that is not one of my questions.
There is no particular order of imporance with my ten quick questions below! And, I am sure you all could come up with many I haven’t thought of. Send comments and tell us yours!
1) The Obama Administration has said recently that it will admit 10,000 Syrians in the fiscal year 2016 resettlement of 85,000 third world refugees to American towns and cities in 48 states, yet the Director of the FBI James Comey recently told Congress that the Syrians, coming from a failed state, could not be properly screened. In this battle between the US State Department (that wants many more than 10,000), and the FBI (Homeland Security concerned with the possible infiltration of ISIS in the refugee population), how would you bring your cabinet together on this critical issue?
2) The Center for Immigration Studies recently released a new study which finds that a Syrian family of four resettled in America will cost US taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars over five years. Would that factor figure into your decision on how many refugees America can afford because it is the President who has almost exclusive power for determining refugee numbers and makes that determination every September?
3) Recently Senator Jeff Sessions office released data on welfare use of refugees in America and found that 90% of Middle Eastern refugees were using some form of social services—food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid and so forth—and that rate was higher for that group than refugees from elsewhere in the world. There are also reports of widespread fraud in the welfare application process. What would you do to discourage fraud and limit welfare for all classes of immigrant?
4) The United Nations is choosing most refugees admitted to the US (over 20,000 Syrians have been referred by the UN) and 97% of the Syrians chosen thus far have been Muslims who are presently housed in UN camps. Would you go against the UN and seek out Christian and other religious minorities in need of resettlement as a first priority?
5) In 2014, the US admitted 67% of the refugees that were resettled anywhere, the next highest country was Canada with 9%. If you were President would you urge a more equitable distribution to first world countries?
6) The world is watching in horror as Europe is being inundated with tens of thousands of migrants. Approximately 8,000 are arriving in Germany each day (originally welcomed by the government). Only about half are Syrians and the largest percentage are economic migrants, not legitimate refugees. If you, as President, had a private meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, what would you say to her?
7) The refugees being housed presently in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan will be there temporarily, perhaps years, but they will not be given citizenship rights. Those resettled to the US and other western countries are permanent residents on a track to citizenship. What alternative would you suggest for managing, especially the Syrian flow, short of making tens of thousands of them US citizens?
8) Our present system of resettling refugees is virtually controlled by the UN, the US State Department and nine federal contractors which monopolize the resettlement of refugees and even choose the towns and cities where they will go. In a ______Administration would you seek to reform this out-of-control resettlement program and give some authority to state and local elected officials which virtually have none right now?
Would your administration propose or support existing reform legislation?
9) Non-profit organizations affiliated with some religious denominatons are being paid millions of tax dollars each year to bring refugee families to cities of their choosing and in three to six months that family is expected to be on its own and the non-profit then brings in the next group incentivized by a federal payment that is calculated by the head (per refugee). Would you pledge to reform the program to put more responsibility back on to private charity as the original act of 1980 invisioned?
10) There have been many reports recently of school systems overloaded with needy immigrant students who require extra help with learning English and to deal with mental traumas, would your administration seek a moratorium on resettlement until officials in overloaded cities and local and state taxpayers could catch their breath?
Don’t hold your breath! I would be blown away if there is any question relating to refugees tonight in Milwaukee, even though, as I said in my previous post this morning—immigration is THE issue for 2016!