How screwed up is our vetting policy for admitting refugees? In April, the administration cut the refugee vetting process that would ordinarily take 18 to 24 months down to 3 months. They won’t pore over social media sites used by refugees to ferret out radicals.
Article by Rick Moran
Now we learn from the agency in charge of bringing refugees to the U.S. that no effort is made to discover radical ideological leanings of the potential newcomers.
The United States runs the names of potential refugees through terrorism and law enforcement databases and conducts health screenings but makes no effort to learn whether they harbor extremist views, an administration official acknowledged Wednesday.
Simon Henshaw, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, made the admission during testimony at a Senate hearing on President Obama’s Syrian refugee program.
Republicans on the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest have expressed concerns that Obama’s decision to admit more than 10,000 Syrian refugees over the past 12 months and his plan to increase that number in the coming 12 months is reckless in light of the threat posed by Islamic extremism.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who chairs the subcommittee, grilled Henshaw about the procedures for screening refugee applicants. “Do you make any inquiry about practices that we reject in the United States, like female genital mutilation?” he asked. “Do you say, ‘Do you believe in that and when you come to the United States will you comply with the laws of the United States on that kind of question?’”
Henshaw said U.S. officials explain American law and customs but do not inquire about refugees’ political beliefs.
“On all questions, we make it clear to refugees that we’re a nation of laws and that they need to comply with our laws,” he said.
Sessions pointed to a Justice Department report indicating that the United States last year experienced 27 “honor killings,” a practice that wins widespread approval in some Muslim-dominated countries that practice Sharia Law.
Henshaw drew a distinction between Muslim refugees and other Muslim immigrants.
“I’m not sure those honor killings took place among the resettled refugee community in the United States,” he said.
Henshaw said the government operates a cultural orientation program and insisted that refugees make a smooth transition to Americanism.
“Senator, I see no evidence to show that refugee communities are bringing these values into the United States,” he said. “I see that they’re becoming good American citizens, members of the military, members of our police … people that have U.S.-American values.”
Henshaw offered no proof for that startling claim. In fact, most refugees won’t become American citizens for years – if at all. And they can talk to the refugees until they’re blue in the face about our “customs,” but it is the height of naiveté to believe they will abandon their long held religious beliefs just for our benefit.
The bottom line is that the administration does not feel it necessary to vet the refugees for their ideology. They will never admit it, but they are willing to accept a small number of terrorist attacks in the name of promoting a “compassionate” refugee policy. If some of the refugees turn out to be jihadists, well that’s just our bad luck. Just think of all those tens of thousands of people we’ve helped. A few dead Americans is a small price to pay to resettle so many people fleeing war, poverty, and violence.
To most Americans, that kind of thinking is unacceptable. But the administration feels it more important to speed the process of bringing refugees to our shores than insuring the safety of the U.S.