USCIS Director admits: Well, yeah, a LOT of refugees have been involved in terrorist offenses

USCIS Director admits: Well, yeah, a LOT of refugees have been involved in terrorist offenses
USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez testifies to the Senate in Sep 2016. (Image: Screen grab of CSPAN video via MRC-TV)

There’s a point here that requires highlighting.  Failing to highlight it amounts to lying — which is basically what the Obama administration is doing.

The point in question this: bringing Muslim refugees into the U.S. under our current procedures literally imports terrorist conspiracies and law enforcement problems.  It creates security problems inside the United States that didn’t exist prior to the importation of the Muslims in question.

To say that any moral principle requires us to do that, regardless of our people’s own safety, is to grossly violate the trust of the American people.

Leon Rodriguez, director of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS), admitted this week under grilling by a Senate committee that refugees have been a significant source of terror plots against targets in the U.S.

What he featured at the beginning of his statement, however, was the misleading assertion that refugees haven’t “committed terrorist acts.”  No, but that’s not for lack of trying.  Refugees — not just people who immigrated years ago, but people who immigrated recently as adults — have frequently been involved in terrorist plots that had to be detected and interdicted by law enforcement.

It appears that some 18% of the perpetrators involved in all the ISIS-related prosecutions in the United States have been refugees.  Not mere immigrants.  Refugees.

Does that mean the U.S. should make no effort to help Muslim refugees?  Of course not.  It does mean that it is merely responsible, intelligent, wise, and appropriate to not keep bringing them into the U.S. without a better method of vetting them.  Stop the flow first.  Fix the vetting problem.  Then start the flow again.

Helping refugees whom we are not, for the moment, directly resettling would presumably involve spending some additional money on safe places for them to reside temporarily overseas, if they have fled truly dangerous war zones.  And the U.S. should follow through quickly with a good-faith effort to develop reliable means of vetting Muslims for asylum.  (We could also admit far more Christian refugees than we have to date, with zero risk, and relieve some of the burden being borne elsewhere that way.)

There is nothing to complain about, in making such expenditures.  We’re already having to misuse taxpayer money to pursue terror plots inside the U.S. that we never had to import in the first place.  We’re quite literally making new public security problems for ourselves, and then having to devote more of our resources to defending ourselves from them.

It isn’t just idiotic for our federal government to heap such an explosive, resource-intensive burden on the American people.  It’s criminal.

The day will come soon when it gets Americans killed.  People who don’t acknowledge that should be ashamed of themselves, for being so cavalier about their neighbors’ lives.  I very rarely say this, but it applies here: they are not worth listening to.  They clearly don’t have a moral compass; they have only a fear of not meeting a particular standard of self-congratulation and sanctimony.  Where do they get off, demanding that Americans of all races and creeds, from all walks of life, incur this significant risk?

The same place as Angela Merkel, apparently.  Notice, meanwhile, how hard Rodriguez, as the Obama administration’s representative, worked to obscure the truth that matters about Obama’s refugee policy.  What matters is that it is creating new terrorism problems, generating significant additional risks to the public, and sucking up law enforcement resources.

But read Melanie Hunter’s transcript of Rodriguez’s responses to the Senate committee, a sampling of which is below:

“The fact is that since Sept. 11, not a single act of actual terrorist violence has been committed by a refugee who has undergone our screening procedures. There have been individuals who came to the U.S. as children,” Rodriguez told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest during its hearing on the refugee resettlement program. …

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee, asked Rodriguez, “You don’t count conspiracies?”

“They’re not actual acts of violence. They were effectively disrupted by U.S. law enforcement, is my point, sir,” Rodriguez responded.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) told Rodriguez about a report done by Fordham University Law School’s Center on National Security on ISIS prosecutions in the U.S.

“They looked at all ISIS prosecutions in the United States and determined that of those involved in that, 18 percent were refugees or asylees. Shouldn’t that be of enormous concern to all of us?” Vitter asked Rodriguez.

“Without a doubt. Yes,” Rodriguez responded. …

“Now, we’re all happy that those plots were disrupted, but in terms of security threats possibly posed by the refugee program, those cases are darn relevant, aren’t they? Just as relevant as a successful violent attack?” Vitter asked. …

“So, just to clarify your earlier statement, again you touted nobody came in through the refugee program as an adult who committee a violent act, but there sure were those who came in, who were convicted of terrorist offenses,” Vitter said.

“I was transparent about that. That’s correct,” Rodriguez said.

In actual fact, Rodriguez wasn’t transparent at all.  He obscured the truth that mattered: the truth that should be the basis of our policy.  Which is not that we’ve been lucky so far, in spite of repeatedly pointing the gun at ourselves and pulling the trigger — but that we keep playing this game of Russian roulette with American lives.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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