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“Extreme Vetting:” Is it Working?

We continually hear about the need for “extreme vetting” of refugees — especially those from countries known for exporting terrorists and terrorism.  And we hear about extreme vetting from both perspectives:  those who say the process is already thorough and extreme and those who are skeptical of those claims and point to various examples of how refugee vetting has failed.  No doubt it has not been and is not now an exact science just because of the nature of those involved and their particular circumstances.  But what IS an exact science is that once any refugee gains any legal status that allows them to come to and remain in the U.S., who they are, what they believe, how they live, and what they hope to achieve once here need to become an exact science.

Vetting with a Laptop

Based on all the details pertinent to most refugees from Middle Eastern countries, I pragmatically have been struggling with understanding how effective vetting of any kind could be accomplished, effective enough to give assurance to U.S. citizens that any refugee has been thoroughly vetted.  Why?  Just think about their countries of origin, the political structure within each of those countries, and how the governments in those countries interface with the U.S. Government.  Anyone who objectively considers those factors will as I do draw a blank on understanding how the Obama Administration in the past and Leftists today could state and believe the refugee vetting program could possibly assure Americans their government know very much at all about refugees that have been allowed in and those who are waiting to come here.

I’ve asked dozens of people who are supposedly “in the know” about all things Immigration and the programs in place for vetting these refugees exactly what the process of doing so includes.  There is one common thread in all of their responses:  the process begins with the United Nations.  There are then several non profit agencies (who also answer to and are accountable to the U.N.) who then tackle the task of “further vetting.”  Only at the very end of that process does Homeland Security get involved.  So what does this vetting process include?  How are its elements proven accurate?  Who makes the ultimate decision on who can enter the U.S. and who cannot?  For immediate consideration purposes, let’s examine  immigration infrastructure from just one country from which these refugees seek status in the U.S.  Not every country is the same, but most lack complete and accurate records on refugees.  Some countries are worse than others, but all share identification impossibilities.


Think through a process used to determine with some measure of accuracy the legitimacy of refugees in Syria who want to immigrate to the U.S.  What could it possibly be based on?  Of course there are face to face interviews of those individuals, family members, friends and acquaintances.  There may even be some documentation such as birth certificates or passports.  But how can one possibly examine the background, criminal history and records, political leanings, possible terrorist affiliations or ties, educational and work history, in the present atmosphere that exists in Syria?  Where would documentation and reliable and accurate records come from?  The Syrian government is in shambles and obviously cares not for the state of being or welfare of its refugees.  They certainly do not cooperate with UN and other organizations who seek to assist Syrian refugees in escaping the Assad horrors.  And even if they did, the infrastructure that could facilitate such vetting is non-existent.

You might think it would be simple to run a background check on that person through Interpol — the European equivalent of the FBI.  But how could you have any certainty of even the identity of the person you want to investigate?  Rarely ever are there passports to use.  And even when there are, they often are fake.  Fingerprints?  Again there is no database with any accuracy to check identities and background on these people.

With that being said, thousands of Syrians through the years have been allowed to enter the U.S. legally after this “vigorous” vetting process.  And there have been some problems:

Dozens of Syrian refugees already living in the Unites States may have ties to terrorism and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is downplaying it, claiming federal agents missed “possible derogatory information” about the immigrants due to “a lapse in vetting.” Among those who slipped through the cracks is a man who failed a polygraph test after applying to work at a U.S. military installation and another who communicated with an Islamic State leader.  Information about this scandalous security lapse comes from federal agents with firsthand knowledge of the situation. They spoke to a mainstream newspaper on condition of anonymity out of fear. This is the type of case the government works hard to keep quiet and consequences could be serious for those who blow the whistle. The news article reveals that federal agents are now “reinvestigating the backgrounds” of the dozens of Syrian refugees because somehow DHS discovered that the lapse in vetting allowed refugees with “potentially negative information in their files to enter the country.” The newspaper attributes the information to “U.S law enforcement officials” who were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Coincidentally, on the day this story broke a national news service reported that President Trump drafted his first executive order to stop accepting Syrian refugees. The president also planned to suspend issuing visas for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Under President Barrack Obama’s lax immigration policies, large numbers of terrorists from some of these nations were allowed U.S. entry,  including members of ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. They include individuals who have engaged in or attempted to engage in acts of terrorism, conspired or attempted to conspire to provide material support to a terrorist organization or engaged in criminal conduct inspired by terrorist ideology.  Some have been convicted and sentenced in American courts.

Additionally, the Obama administration was very generous in granting citizens of Muslim nations special amnesty protections and residency benefits in the U.S. During a five-year period.  Obama’s DHS issued around 680,000 green cards to foreigners from Muslim countries, according to the agency’s figures.  Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Libya were among those nations. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported on a special “humanitarian” amnesty program offered to illegal aliens from Yemen, an Islamic Middle Eastern country well known as an Al Qaeda breeding ground.  Yemen is the headquarters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the State Department has revealed that AQAP militants carried out hundreds of attacks including suicide bombers, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations.

Circling back to Syrian refugees:  as Obama let thousands settle in the U.S. his own intelligence and immigration officials admitted that individuals with ties to terrorist groups used the program to try to infiltrate the country and that there is no way to properly screen them. In 2015 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria tried to gain entry to the U.S. through the refugee program and that the program is “vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West.”  Before that the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Matthew Emrich, admitted during a congressional hearing that there’s no way to adequately screen Syrian refugees because the Syrian government doesn’t have an intelligence database to run checks against.  Additionally, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach conceded that the U.S. government has no system to properly screen Syrian refugees.

Have you heard any of the above from CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, The NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, or other news outlets?  NO!!!!!

All we hear about from the Liberal Left media are the heart-wrenching stories of refugee families caught up in their countries’ political upheaval, civil wars, and brutal governments.  Don’t get me wrong:  they ARE horror stories and are an abomination to the World.  All of these horrors need to be stopped and dealt with and their victims taken care of as best as possible.  But it is incumbent upon America and our government to assure that while we do what we can to assist those we cannot diminish the safety of Americans in doing so.  It is foolish to think that those who subscribe to an ideology that’s fundamental mantra is to kill Americans and destroy America will not find ways to do so.  They have even promised to infiltrate our country with immigrants to attack and kill Americans from within.  We’ve seen it happen far too often in our nation already.

I’ll remind you of a story of a rock climber I told some time ago.  As he struggled to get to the top of a cliff he pulls himself up on a ledge to take a breather.  He saw a snake coiled in the corner, and the snake spoke to him.  “Please take me to the top with you,” the snake hissed.  “I’m stuck here and will surely die.”  The climber replied, “I cannot do that.  You’re a snake and will bite me.”  The snake responded, “I promise I will not.  Please take me with you.”  The climber gave in, wrapped the snake around his neck and resumed his climb.  Just as the climber was about to pull himself over the top of the cliff, the snake suddenly bit him on the neck.  It startled the climber, he released his hold on the rocks and fell to the ground far below.  As they were falling, the climber cried to the snake, “You promised you wouldn’t bite me.  Now we’re both going to die!”  The snake said, “You shouldn’t be surprised.  You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”

ISIS has promised to hide within the ranks of refugees to gain access to the U.S.  We yet have NO way to accurately vett those who wish to come and yet there are those who want to open the door allowing all refugees in.  I encourage President Trump to present to Congress as quickly as possible proposed legislation to immediately stop refugee immigration until we have a tested and proven method in place to determine with accuracy the specifics of anyone who is allowed into our nation — no matter their nation of origin.  Not doing so means the loss of American lives at the hands of terrorists.  It’s happened multiple times and we will see it again.

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