Despite demands from a majority of US governors to stop the immigration of refugees coming through or from Syria (about 2,000 over the last five years, increasing to 10,000 in the next eleven months, with numbers continuing to climb in future years) the Obama administration seems committed to ignoring the requests.
In Virginia, Governor McAuliffe is toeing the line with the White House as usual by refusing to make any effort to block the immigration. The most obvious concern I hear is that it is impossible, given the lack of proper documentation, to establish the background of the people who line up to enter the US. That leaves a few very important questions unanswered. First is whether or not radical Muslims who intend to harm people in the US are among those entering the US through Syria. Second is whether the immigrants are fleeing for their safety or just using the current unrest to move to America as economic refugees.
President Obama Says 10,000 "Carefully Vetted" Syrian refugees will enter US cities this year. Last month, FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress that there are "certain gaps" in our ability to screen Middle Eastern migrants. Comey's assessment was affirmed by other intelligence officials. Effectively Obama is saying “trust me.”
Can we trust him? Obama is the person who called ISIS the JV team, who lied to the American people by saying the attack on the Benghazi Embassy was triggered by a video, who has paved the way for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and who broke the law to release five Taliban generals in return for deserter Bowe Bergdahl. He is now saying, trust me, these Syrian refugees have been, "Carefully Vetted”.
We should also consider the cost of expanding this portion of America’s population. The Center for Immigration Studies, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization reports, “…published figures from the refugee survey show a Middle Eastern refugee use rate of 73.1 percent for Medicaid and Refugee Medical Assistance together. This means that an estimated 62.2 percent of individual Middle Eastern refugees who arrived in the last five years are on Medicaid. A Middle Eastern refugee creates a cost of $64,370 in the first five years on average. Per-refugee costs include $9,230 spent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). They also include $55,140 in expenditures on welfare and education for the first five years. At the household level, the five-year cost is $257,481. It should be clear that what drives these costs are the initial expenditures by ORR and PRM and the very high use of welfare by Middle Eastern refugees.”
The Paris massacre should lead Washington to reconsider accepting refugees from Syria and block the resettlement until proper vetting is assured. Governor McAuliffe should demand President Obama take action to that effect immediately.