While the Senate is embroiled in a heated debate over the extension of NSA surveillance, nobody is focusing on the more serious issue at hand. No amount of surveillance –constitutional or not – can defend against the avoidable, but currently suicidal, immigration policies in which security threats are brought here in the first place.
There is perhaps nothing more counterintuitive about U.S. foreign policy than the massive increase in refugees from Islamic civil wars in the Middle East – at a time when we are engaging in foreign interventions under the guise of protecting our homeland.
Conservative Review has already detailed numerous cases of refugees being arrested for engaging in terror activities and the torrent of immigrants from the Middle East who have attempted to go fight for the Islamic State in Syria. With all of the apocalyptic rhetoric on display in Washington in light of the shutdown of NSA surveillance for two days, is anybody concerned about all the security threats that are needlessly admitted to this country on a daily basis?
Assuming the NSA is legitimately focused only on stopping terror attacks, who do you think is under surveillance? While a number of Middle Eastern immigrants are peaceful like any other group, almost all of the Islamic terror threats will invariably emanate from this growing population.
Consider this for a moment: Iraq is saturated with Sunni and Shiite Jihadist elements, yet each group is able to claim refugee status if they can show they are persecuted based on their minority status in a given neighborhood. Ironically, radical elements of both Sunnis and Shias have been admitted to places like Bowling Green, Kentucky, and there are now stories of violence erupting between them! The indifferent politicians are literally bringing all of the woes from the Middle East to our shores.
From fiscal year 2007 through April 30, 2015, the U.S. has resettled 134,314 Iraqis via the refugee program and the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, the overwhelming majority being Muslim and evenly divided between Sunni and Shia. For the first half of fiscal year 2015, as the debate over surveillance has heated up, we’ve continued to admit more people from volatile Islamic countries (data from the Refugee Processing Center):
8229 from Iraq, roughly 6640 have been Muslim – evenly split between Sunnis and Shiites
4993 from Somalia
9000 from Burma, but 1,649 are Muslim, mostly the Rohingya. Although a predominantly Buddhist country, a large share of refugees from Burma are Muslims.
As I noted last week, the SIV program – designed to bring in contractors and translators from Iraq and Afghanistan – has turned out to be just as problematic as the refugee program. Yet, Democrats slipped in a provision to the NDAA that would add 3,000 more Afghanis to the SIV program.
Additionally, a group of 14 Democrat senators are now calling on the administration to admit a whopping 65,000 refugees from the Syrian civil war. By my count, 865 Syrians have been admitted as refugees since fiscal year 2012, roughly corresponding with the start of the civil war. While the number seems small, it is growing rapidly and several thousand more are in the pipeline. More importantly, almost all of them have been Muslims, despite the fact that Christians face the most credible fear of persecution and have the least risk when it comes to vetting for security risks.
The call for admitting so many Syrian refugees is a prima facie threat. As with any civil war, there are thousands of innocent civilians being killed. However, this is a complex tangled web with hostilities between Assad’s regime, Hezbollah, al-Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria), Islamic State, Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic Front. There is no way to sort out this mess without needlessly letting in security risks.
Time and again, our political class has failed us by letting in persecutors under a program designed to protect those being persecuted. The refugee resettlement program has essentially been reoriented towards a Muslim resettlement operation. According to data compiled by the State Department, Arabic is by far the most commonly spoken language by recent refugees. The third most commonly spoken language on the list? Somali.
There are undoubtedly plenty of Muslims who are being persecuted in the Middle East, but it is becoming harder and harder to untangle the web of disparate radical groups that are at war with each other, yet have the ability to obtain refugee status. There are countless Muslim refugees in Syria and Iraq who have been legitimately displaced from their homes but who harbor the same radical Islamic views as those conquering their neighborhoods.
It is not the job of America to gratuitously incur risk without the absolute certainty that refugees will not endanger our national security. With the unprecedented growth in Muslim immigration and unparalleled generosity of our refugee program over the past decade, there is no downside to exercising more caution as the Middle East continues to erupt in rampant upheaval.
It’s time to confront a simple reality. The best way to prevent homegrown terror while simultaneously protecting against government overreach into personal privacy is not to blithely import security risks in the first place. There will obviously always be a need for the NSA and FBI to have robust, yet constitutional, tools to combat and preempt terror threats. Yet, to focus on those tools while welcoming the problems of the Middle East through lax immigration is completely dyslexic. But leave it to our politicians to propose the worst solution to any impending problem. (See “A Bigger Threat Than an Expiring PATRIOT Act? This” HERE)
[Here’s a recent interview with this article’s author:]