Democrat Senate Candidate Lies About Refugees
Says they’re all orphans and widows because the men are 'all dead'
Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth from Illinois blatantly misled attendees at a forum this week when she claimed that the United States does not accept military-aged male Syrian refugees into the country.
Duckworth, who is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk for his Senate seat, said Wednesday at a roundtable event with the Illinois Farm Bureau that the U.S. predominantly accepts Syrian women and children who are widows and orphans. Duckworth went on to imply there are “no men of military age” brought into the United States under the program, in remarks first reported by the Washington Examiner.
“To come to the U.S., the UN High Commission for Refugees actually selects largely families with no men of military age, and there are no men of military age in these families because the men are dead.”
“To come to the U.S., the UN High Commission for Refugees actually selects largely families with no men of military age, and there are no men of military age in these families because the men are dead,” Duckworth said. “They’re widows and orphans. And the men of military age, according to the briefings I received, who are part of the refugees who are even selected to begin the process of coming to the U.S., are those men that are torture victims and people fleeing ISIS because they’ve been targeted, people who are, you know, who have been translators for the U.S. military, for example.”
Is that so, Duckworth?
Recent data from the Department of State shows that the U.S. has accepted more male Syrian refugees than women Syrian refugees thus far in 2016. In fact, the U.S. has accepted 4,646 male Syrians compared with the 4,333 female Syrians. Furthermore, of those males accepted into the country within the last eight months, 363 of them were between the ages of 21 and 30 and 738 of them were between 31 and 40 years old.
When Duckworth was questioned over her remarks, a spokesperson for her Senate campaign referred questions back to a November 2015 background briefing issued from the State Department claiming that the U.S. would prioritize “vulnerable” refugees when making selections.
“[A]s we set a priority of bringing the most vulnerable people, we’re going to have female-headed households with a lot of children, and we’re going to have extended families that are maybe missing the person who used to be the top breadwinner but have several generations – grandparents, a widowed mother, and children,” the briefing from the State Department read, showing an apparent discrepancy between the stated refugee policy and the actual statistics.
Duckworth’s comments on Wednesday highlighted this troubling discrepancy between political rhetoric and the actual data as the U.S. seeks to meet Obama’s goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this year. As of the middle of August, the Obama Administration is approximately 86 percent towards completing its goal, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. Of the 8,569 Syrian refugees the U.S. has received thus far, roughly 99 percent of them are Muslims and less than 1 percent of them are Christians. In addition, as of July, the states of Michigan, California and Illinois had received the most number of Syrian refugees, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But this was not enough for Duckworth, who has also come under fire for calling for the admittance of even greater numbers of Syrian refugees – apparently 100,000 from Syria and 200,000 refugees overall, to be exact.
“I actually signed on to take more than what the president proposed. I signed on for two hundred thousand refugees,” Duckworth said during a news conference in November – a position which Kirk’s campaign has highlighted and condemned.
As Duckworth and Kirk continue to duke it out in their battle for Kirk’s endangered Senate seat, the Syrian refugee question promises to continue as a headache for Duckworth as the country’s fears of increasing terror threats head towards the voting booth.