IRLI and FAIR File Public Comment Opposing the Obama Administration’s Proposed Expansion of Refugee Programs
Keeping the Government Accountable and Fighting for America’s Sovereignty and Security
(May 20, 2016 — Washington, D.C.) – This week, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (“IRLI”) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (“FAIR”) filed a public comment with the Department of State (“DOS”) regarding its proposed 2017 Refugee Admission’s Program. In their comment, IRLI and FAIR raised three broad concerns regarding the Obama Administration’s current policies and practices:
The DOS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) are not complying with statutory requirements. Under U.S. law, only a person who has been persecuted or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” can be admitted to the U.S. as a refugee. This Administration appears to have unlawfully adopted the United Nation’s definition of refugee, which includes those fleeing from natural or economic disaster, civil strife, war, crime or other societal afflictions.
DOS has not addressed the extensive fraud and abuse in the refugee application process. The problems with vetting applicants do not end at ensuring each applicant properly complies with the statutory requirements. Extensive fraud and abuse of the application process has been found, yet the Government does not properly address these findings. Such fraud and abuse will only become more prevalent as the President seeks to fulfill his 10,000-Syrian refugee quota by the end of the fiscal year.
The American public is still not adequately protected under the current refugee screening process. The President’s refugee goals are not properly considering the severe national security concerns that face the country in light of the attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, where the female terrorist passed the Government’s security screening. While the President, Jeh Johnson, and DOS officials say that the security checks for refugees are rigorous, the screenings are not sufficient to protect American citizens. Other government officials who are deeply involved in screening refugees state that the current background investigation produces little, if any, information on those being screened.
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “The Obama Administration’s unilateral expansion of our democratically-enacted refugee laws will lead to increased fraud and greater chances for terrorist-activity as well as pressure on our state and federal welfare budgets, and on the social-cohesion of our communities.” Wilcox continued, “Not only is this Administration ignoring the laws which define who can come into our country as a refugee, it’s ignoring the immigration catastrophe in Europe that’s resulted from those governments being too open to manipulation from foreign migrants. The American people are tired of both the lawlessness and the extreme naiveté on the part of the political class when it comes to immigration policy.”