Retired Refugee Administrator Calls for Syrian Refugee Moratorium

For most of my adult life, I have worked with refugees both overseas and in the US. So, I DO understand the plight of refugees and the challenges of successfully resettling them in their new American homeland.


That said, I just read a lengthy article in the local newspaper in which the mayor and the local refugee resettlement director discounted the Syrian refugee threat by sweepingly equating the reaction of those of us with legitimate concerns about the flawed vetting process of Syrian refugees with "knee-jerk reactions of politicians". I was understandably irked. The very idea of my being a politician is offensive. But, at least my colleagues and I weren't characterized as bigots, racists, xenophobes or Islamophobes. Very surprising, indeed.

In the article, the local director was quoted as saying that "all refugees go through a rigorous review process before being allowed to come to the U.S." He went on to say that "we shouldn't allow terrorists and criminals to dictate changes to our great tradition of welcoming the stranger", pointing out that local resettlement agencies "can't pick and choose whom to accept."

That last string of quotes smacked of talking points--not reasoned arguments--for permitting the influx of inadequately vetted Syrian refugees into our community. I immediately questioned that if the threat of "terrorists and criminals" should not dictate how we tackle the question of welcoming potential terrorists and criminals into our midst, then what exactly should dictate whom we permit to resettle next door to us.

His also stating that local agencies "can't pick and choose whom to accept" is, for the most part, false. In the case of refugees entering to join family members already here, then, yes, the agency is expected to accept them into our community; however, so-called "free cases", or those refugees without anchor relatives already in place in the community, may be rejected for resettlement by the local agency. Bear that mind.

He went on by asserting that "Syrians coming to the US will likely come through an orderly process from refugee camps," again adding that "it is a very secure process." Likely? Not reassuring.

Obviously he has ignored or entirely discounted the remarks of our security agency heads who have consistently and unambiguously warned about the flawed vetting process of Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees.

Since I'm sure the local resettlement program has come under considerable pressure of late, and not wanting to pile on, I contacted an old colleague and friend at the national refugee resettlement agency with which the local agency is affiliated.

I explained that local community groups with whom I am closely affiliated have understandable concerns about the resettlement of Syrian refugees in our community, and went on to cite the quotes of the local director which appeared in the newspaper.

His first reaction was that it was not true that the local agency cannot reject refugees. Those who are not arriving to join family members already resettled in the community may be rejected by the local agency. This would certainly describe all the Syrian refugees earmarked for resettlement in this community. 

Throughout the cordial conversation--we hadn't spoken for years--I sensed a inclination on his part to adroitly skirt the potential threat posed by the resettlement of Syrian refugees. When queried about the inadequate vetting process for Syrian refugees in particular, he seemed unaware of the DIA's, FBI's and DOD's warnings about the absence of an adequate database to properly vet these refugees. Has there been a news blackout?

He emailed me an updated version of the 13-step vetting process currently in use, and seemed convinced that the process was adequate. I pointed out that the vetting process is fine as it applies to non-Middle Eastern refugee groups, but that we're talking about Islamic refugees, some of whom could well be ISIS or Al Quaida infiltrators; that it only took 8 radical Islamists to slaughter 129 people in Paris. He gingerly acknowledged this threat, but quickly went on to point out the obvious: these refugees have been in camps for up to 4 years and are badly in need of help; that after such a prolonged period of time "one would think" that [even without a database with which to work] that the wheat could be effectively separated from the chaff. 

I opined that merely hoping that such is the case is one thing, but asked if on that hope alone were we willing to risk a terrorist attack which might otherwise have been averted. He again gently agreed, but kept returning to the genuine suffering of the bulk of Syrian refugees. That was his fallback position throughout the conversation. He could never really bring himself to fully grapple with the real threat of improperly vetted Syrian refugees. For him, compassion alone trumped caution.

We both worked in refugee camps in Southeast Asia and were both involved in interviewing and otherwise screening SEA refugees before they were finally approved for entry into the US. Clearly, these were entirely different refugee groups--no terrorist inclinations among them at all. Thus, the vetting process for SEA refugees proved to be adequate and no warnings from our security agencies about the vetting process were necessarily forthcoming.

We agreed that the suffering Syrian refugees needed help, but we couldn't agree that a moratorium on the resettlement of Syrian refugees was the responsible course of action to take.

We then spoke about the difficulty we all had with smoothly resettling Somalian refugees in the past, but he couldn't recall but two Somalians being arrested for terrorist related activities after arrival. I reminded him of a substantial number of Somalian refugees who had been resettled in Minnesota who had linked up with ISIS; that although they are likely under close surveillance by the U.S. government they are still free and their legal status here unchanged. In short, I reminded him that they remained a serious potential terrorist threat to the homeland. Again he agreed, but was indisposed to grasp the true nature of the threat. Like so many companies and organizations, it is difficult for resettlement agencies, local or national, to see things as they really are, in this case to clearly see the threat attending a flawed vetting process. As always, agency and organization culture and those inevitable talking points pretty much dictates an employee's outlook and opinions. So, while his stance was unsurprising, when weighing the validity of refugee program commentary, from the start we must all bear carefully in mind this ingrained myopia.

Possible remedy: if a refugee is a "Free Case" (with no familial US ties), the local resettlement agency CAN, in fact, say no. Thus, the remedy for those of us who are pushing for a moratorium  on the resettlement of Syrian refugees may be to pressure the local resettlement agency to reject Free Syrian cases. In most communities without Syrian refugees already in place, such an effort would most certainly stop the influx. Moratorium accomplished on the local level.

With this in mind, I drafted the following editorial for local consumption. The newspaper's being a seriously liberal newspaper, who can say if it will be published:

"Dear Editor:

Though ISIS has dubbed the Islamist terrorist attack on Paris as but the
“first of the storm”, Pres. Obama continues to mystifyingly describe “global
warming”, coal and CO2 as THE most profound threats we face as a nation; worse,
he continues to vigorously push for the entrance of thousands of inadequately
vetted Syrian “refugees” into our homeland.
Despite the existential threat of Islamic terrorism, and warnings against such a
Syrian influx by our own security agencies, the Administration remains
recklessly determined to resettle these refugees in our communities.
I've worked with refugees both here and abroad for most of my adult life, so no
one can honestly discount my compassion when it comes to helping suffering
refugees; however, until our security agencies verify that an adequate vetting
process is in place a moratorium on the resettlement of Syrian “refugees” is a
no-brainer.  Anything less would be terribly irresponsible.
Moving past empty-headed political correctness, delusional ideology and faux
compassion, let’s properly safeguard our homeland and families from the menace
of radical Islamic terrorism."

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Comment by Juan Reynoso on December 10, 2015 at 8:22pm

By: Juan Reynoso, WTP Activist -  clearglobal2016@gmail.com
Americas must realize that self-scrutiny is not treason. Self-examination is not disloyalty.
Truth and knowledge diffused among the people are necessary for the reclamation and preservation of our Democracy, rights, freedom and liberties.
The U.S. must take responsibility for the exodus and the refugee crises. http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-truth-about-syr...
Fellow Americans, our country’s moral responsibly is dead.  The roots of these refugee crises are the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other countries. We know that the Bush and the Obama administration are responsible for this human exodus.  Please seek the truth; we are the true source of terrorism, misery and suffering on earth. The wars in the Middle East were planned before the 9/11; George W. Bush control demolitions of the towers were done to get the American people support for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.  We must acknowledge that the Bush wars are the roots of the crises in these countries which have given rise to this “Human catastrophe” the United States of American military intervention; created this exodus of innocent people that was force to leave their country and seek refuge in the EU. But the response to meet America’s moral responsibility of this crisis created by their greed for power and control of the Middle East oil is only a guilty silence.
Any serious consideration of what lies behind the surge of refugees into Europe leads to the inescapable conclusion that it constitutes not only a tragedy but a crime. More precisely, it is the tragic byproduct of the US criminal policy of aggressive wars and regime change interventions pursued uninterruptedly by the US imperialism, with the aid and complicity of its Western European allies, over the course of nearly a quarter century.
The US, the UK and NATO are responsible for the EU refugee’s crisis.  The destruction and the killings by the wars in the Middle East is the root of this problem. We've lost sight of the simple fact that our fellow humans are in dire need of help, having fled death and destruction in their homelands only to face an even more perilous journey into Europe.  This refugee crisis was created by us; a huge number of people are continuing to cross the Mediterranean in voyages that have killed more than 2,000 so far this year. We must take responsibility and now is the time to help the people who need it the most.
Enough is enough; our attitudes have to change we must see the human and not the imagined danger that anything is under threat apart from these people's lives, somehow our government has stopped seeing refugees, but they are refugees created by their military actions and tried to deny them the assistance they are legally, and morally, entitled to, is the worst crime against humanity.  But it has to end, and end now; it has to end because people are dying in their thousands, because Europe's reputation as a champion of human rights is disintegrating,  Obama said that we should take 10,000 refugees, but this it is not enough we must take 250,000 and place 5,000 refugees in each state of this union, we all supported this wars and we must take responsibility for this crime against humanity or we will regret it for the rest of our history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw

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Sources for this article include:
(CIA) program to arm rebels battling against Syrian.
http://americanfreepress.net/?p=12411
US Military and Clandestine Operations in Foreign Countries
https://www.globalpolicy.org/us-military-expansion-and-intervention...
Chronology of U.S. Military Interventions, from Vietnam to the Balkans
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/military/etc/cron.html
A Brief History of U.S. Interventions: 1945 to the Present
http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html
U.S. Military Intervention in the Middle East
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6308.htm
Iran, the United States and a Political Seesaw
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/07/world/middleeast/iran...
U.S. Military intervention in the Middle East
http://usmeforeignpolicy.umwblogs.org/intervention-timeline/
U.S. Military intervention in Iraq.
http://usiraq.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000670
The U.S. used military power in support of its national interests. “The US Corporations”
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/questions/uspolicy/
Flight Attendant Drops 9/11 Bombshells! Mind Blowing Proof!
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2015/09/flight-attendant-drops...

Please seek the truth. The wars in the Middle East were planned before the 9/11. The George W. Bush control demolition execution was done to get the American people support for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The true is that our soldiers were deceived and send to fight for oil, not for Democracy or to defend our country. We are the world's biggest bully. You can Protect our soldiers by becoming an activist against wars and military interventions.

LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Lisa BensonPolitical Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

ALERT ALERT

Pay-Back !!! Pedophile Who Assaulted Nearly 200 Kids Stabbed To Death In Prison

A convicted pedophile who abused almost 200 children was stabbed to death in North Yorkshire, England, on Sunday.

Richard Huckle, 33, from Ashford, Kent, was given 22 life sentences in 2016 after he admitted to sexually abusing 71 kids whose ages ranged from six months to 12 years between 2006 and 2014, according to the BBC.

The report said Huckle was attacked with a makeshift knife while inside his cell at the Full Sutton Prison.

At the pedophile’s trial in 2016, investigators said they found over 20,000 indecent photos and videos of his assaults, which were shared with other pedophiles via a site on the dark web called The Love Zone.

Reports said that prior to his arrest, Huckle posed as an English teacher and Christian volunteer worker in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he groomed impoverished children.

In one of his online posts, Huckle reportedly wrote “Impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle-class Western kids.”

Reports said he attempted to make money from his crimes by crowdfunding the release of the photos.

“Huckle also created a 60-page ‘how-to’ guide for other pedophiles seeking to evade being caught, and kept a scorecard and points system regarding the children who were abused — leading investigators to speculate he may have as many as 200 victims,” a Fox News report stated.

At his sentencing in 2016, Judge Peter Rook condemned Huckle for his heinous crimes he said had become routine for the pedophile.

Rook commented:

Your offending behavior became entrenched in your everyday life. Your life revolved around your sexual activities with young children. Your distorted beliefs in respect of children are deep-seated. Your self-delusion knows no bounds. It is also clear that, had you not been arrested, you planned to continue the same lifestyle using the expertise that you were keen to show off to and share with other abusers so as to continue your sexual exploitation of the children of such communities.

Reports said prior to his death, Huckle refused to cooperate with authorities when they tried to unlock a cache of encrypted files he had access to that may contain the names of victims and other pedophiles, according to Fox News.

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