National Security and
Refugee Resettlement from
"High Risk" Countries
ISSUE BRIEF | AUGUST 2016
By allowing a mass migration of refugees, particularly those from places where religious or political violence is endemic, we open ourselves up to possible threats. Oftentimes we cannot perform proper screening or background checks on these refugees so we aren't able to distinguish legitimate refugees from terrorists.
For instance, two al-Qaeda linked refugees living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, had been admitted for resettlement despite the fact that they had targeted and killed U.S. soldiers in Iraq. And many U.S. intelligence officials, including CIA Chief John Brennan, have noted that terrorists are using refugee flows to infiltrate the West.
Not all people who are fleeing dangerous situations are innocent victims. Many undoubtedly are. But many—especially in places like Syria—are simply on the losing end of bloody ethnic and religious conflicts. They may be fleeing for their lives, but had the outcome of these conflicts been different, they might be committing atrocities and it might be the other guys fleeing. The challenge of our refugee policy is, amid the complete chaos in the sending countries, to be able to sort out the innocents from those who may have ulterior motives.
In light of recent terrorists attacks and the frank acknowledgements from intelligence officials here and in Europe, FAIR believes that the Obama administration must abandon its plans for massive increases in refugees. If it doesn't, Congress must stop them. Here’s why: