At least one of the bombers in Friday’s Paris terrorist attack snuck into France posing as a Syrian refugee. ISIS is infiltrating refugee camps to penetrate Europe and the United States.
But on Monday, President Obama dismissed the danger, doubling down on his plans to settle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees here. The White House insists Syrian refugees go through “extensive screening.” That’s a deadly lie.
Obama’s own intelligence experts admit screening Syrian refugees is impossible, because the FBI and Homeland Security Department have no data on Syrians — no fingerprints, arrest records, travel data — to indicate what these people did in Syria, or even whether they are who they claim to be. “There won’t be anything in our database,” FBI head James Comey cautioned Congress last month. “So I can’t sit here and offer anybody an absolute assurance that — there’s no risk associated with this.”
But Obama’s in denial.
Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was asked by Congress for assurances that “no terrorist could get through the process” of screening refugees. “Well, we may have somebody who comes to us and is simply not on our radar for any discernible reason.” Feel safe?
Obama’s State Department insists terrorists will be weeded out by a single in-person interview. That’s a joke. Each Syrian refugee selected by the United Nations is interviewed once by someone with just eight days of training on Syria.
Worse, the interviewers — from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services — were ordered last May to relax standards. It’s now OK if your spouse was part of a terrorist organization, provided you can convince the screener you didn’t know you were sleeping with a terrorist. It’s also OK to have a history of supporting a terrorist group yourself — as long as you felt slightly pressured (not even under “duress”) to do it.
Refugees are going to breeze through that screening as long as they don’t strap a Kalashnikov to their chest on the way in.
After the interview, refugees are home free. They’re flown to the United States and resettled. Their children are enrolled in local schools and they’re signed up for food stamps, welfare, health care and other benefits.
What’s missing here? How about local law enforcement, which is kept in the dark, along with mayors, schools boards and governors, about where these refugees are being placed. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had to formally demand the information before learning 14 Syrians had just been placed there. Now more than half the nation’s governors, including Democrat Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, are saying “no” to more Syrian refugees.
Where’s Gov. Cuomo? New York’s a top target for terrorists, and the FBI scores more arrests for ISIS terrorism plots here than any other state. No. 2 is Minnesota, where many refugees have been relocated.
The United States already is offering more help to Syrian refugees than any other nation. Obama is scolding us not to “close our hearts to these victims.” But we’re not. There’s a difference between helping over there and putting our own families and communities at risk here.
Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.