The Obama administration is set to dramatically expand the number of refugees coming to the U.S. in the next fiscal year, including the number of potentially dangerous Muslim migrants.
In a private briefing with senators on Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry announced a plan to increase the annual total flow of refugees to the United States from 85,000 in fiscal year 2016 to 110,000 in 2017.
“Today’s announcement is nothing short of reckless and indefensible.”
“Despite opposition by the American people, a documented link between terrorism and individuals admitted to the United States as refugees, and over $19 trillion in debt, the Obama Administration has committed the United States to admitting 110,000 refugees during Fiscal Year 2017 — a roughly 57 percent increase in the number of refugees the United States admitted as recently as FY 2015, and a roughly 29 percent increase from the Administration’s target for FY 2016,” Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who chairs the Immigration and the National Interest subcommittee, said in a statement.
The last time the U.S. took in over 100,000 refugees in a single year was 1995.
In a briefing provided to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee the administration did not specify exactly how much Syrian refugees will account for the overall increase, but did say the administration “aims to admit a significantly higher number” of Syrians in fiscal 2017.
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The Obama administration has already surpassed its 10,000 refugee target set for 2016.
The rising flow of refugees will further raise concerns about security and social cohesion brought up in the 2016 election.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed dramatically increasing the annual flow of refugees from war-torn Syria. Clinton has proposed bringing as many as 65,000 Syrian refugees into the United States annually, a 550 percent increase over President Obama’s 2016 target.
GOP nominee Donald Trump, on the other hand, has called for a pause on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States until officials can prove vetting measures would reliably prevent any possibility of infiltration by radicalized individuals.
[lz_table title=”Syrian Refugees” source=”Refugee Processing Center”]States with Most Refugees
“She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from,” Trump said when he accepted the GOP nomination at the Republican National Convention in July.
In October 2015, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration and Services official, testifying before the immigration subcommittee, confirmed that the U.S. lacks the databases to adequately screen refugees from Syria.
“Today’s announcement is nothing short of reckless and indefensible,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in a statement. “ISIS has vowed to use the refugee process to infiltrate terrorists into Western nations, and has demonstrated the ability to provide them with the documentation they need to successfully obtain refugee status.”
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In June 2016, Congress released data showing the U.S. successfully prosecuted 580 individuals for terrorism and terror-related cases from September 2001 through 2014.
Between early 2014 and the release of the data in June of this year, a further 131 individuals were implicated on terror-related charges.
Of these, several GOP senators have noted that at least 40 were initially admitted to the U.S. as refugees and 380 of the 580 were foreign-born.
In addition to obvious concerns about terrorism, there are also concerns about the financial strain these refugees will have on an already weakened economy.
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“Admitting 110,000 refugees will result in an enormous long-term financial burden on the taxpayers,” Sessions said in his statement. Sessions pointed to estimates from Robert Rector, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, that point to a price tag for taxpayers of $6.5 billion.
Office of Refugee Resettlement data released by Sen. Sessions’ immigration subcommittee staff in 2015 revealed that in 2013, 91.4 percent of Middle Eastern refugees who had been allowed into the country between 2008 and 2013 were on food stamps. Over 73 percent were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance, and over 68 percent were on cash welfare.
The Obama administration’s eagerness to welcome Muslim migrants stands in stark contrast to its indifference toward Middle East Christians, who are being slaughtered in an Islamic genocide. Indeed, despite the fact that Middle East Christians face extinction, less than one percent of Syrian refugees permitted into the country by the Obama administration are Christian. Of 11,491 Syrian refugees already admitted into the U.S., only 53 are Christians.
“The United States can and should uphold our obligations to assist with international efforts to protect refugees around the world. But given the extreme dangers posed by resettlement of people from countries where sophisticated international terrorist organizations operate openly, we must dramatically curtail refugee admissions, not increase them,” said Stein.