Americans Want Fewer Refugees, Obama Wants More: Guess Who Wins?

Published on September 21st, 2016

By Joe Guzzardi
September 21, 2016
Despite San Bernardino, Orlando and most recently St. Cloud and New York, President Obama vowed to accelerate his Muslim refugee resettlement agenda.
In San Bernardino, California, Syed Farook, of Pakistani ancestry, and his Pakistan-born wife Tasheen Malik, killed 14 people. In Orlando, Florida, Omar Mateen, whose family is from Afghanistan, killed 49 people after he swore allegiance to ISIS. Somali-born Dahir Adan, an Islamic “soldier,” randomly stabbed and seriously wounded nine people in a St. Cloud, Minnesota, mall. Finally, Afghanistan-born Ahmad Khan Rahami is the primary suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings, and has been charged with the attempted murder of several police officers.
Farook and Rahami are U.S. citizens, but embraced the hatred of the U.S. that some in jihad-breeding Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia share. Although evidence clearly points to a flawed refugee system that merits re-evaluation, Obama pledged to increase the number of migrants from Syria – another terrorist-sponsoring nation – to 110,000 during fiscal year 2017. As part of the appeal Obama made to the United Nations General Assembly, the president insisted that more refugees make the world a safer place, and dismissed the terrorist-induced horrors in Paris, Brussels, London, Nice, Germany and Canada.
In the meantime, in an astonishingly arrogant display – astonishing even for the Obama administration – Department of Homeland Security immigration officials refused to attend a long-ago scheduled Senate hearing for the day after the U.N. meeting to review the president’s expanded refugee plan. The disgruntled Senate Sub-Committee on Immigration and the National Interest chair Jeff Sessions charged the administration with willfully subordinating Congress and the interests of Americans.
Americans worry about Obama’s unilateral decision to welcome more refugees. In citizens’ best interests and at a minimum, refugee resettlement should be evaluated regularly. Take Somalia. The U.S. has been accepting Somalis since the 1980s, and continued unchecked through the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama presidencies. Since Reagan four decades ago, the U.S. has taken in a minimum of 150,000 Somalis. Not included in the 150,000 are other Somalis who entered on various outdated visa programs: temporary protected status, diversity visa lottery winners and student visas. In all, the U.S. accepts about 70 percent of all permanently resettled refugees worldwide.
Obama and the presidents who follow him must develop a policy that provides safety to refugees while also protecting Americans, an achievable goal. A Center for Immigration Studies found that the net government costs of settling one refugee in the U.S. for five years could provide five years of safety for 12 Middle Eastern refugees in their home region. Most of the cost to provide for refugees in the U.S. comes from welfare and entitlement programs. Health and Human Services statistics show 90 percent of recent refugees from the Middle East receive food stamps, and about 70 percent receive cash assistance and government-funded healthcare, a huge taxpayer burden.
And there’s this statement from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: “Resettlement is not a right, and there is no obligation … to accept refugees for resettlement.”
All is not lost. Congress could thwart Obama on his unpopular resettlement vision. Continuing Resolution legislation for FY2017 would put a moratorium on refugees coming from terrorist hotbeds until appropriate screening procedures are in place and Congress is given a full accounting of the program’s costs.

A Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, 
Joe can be contacted at [email protected] 
and followed on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.


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