From Daily Mail
As debate intensifies nationally over the federal government’s plan to accept an additional 10,000 refugees from war-ravaged Syria, it has emerged that more than ten times that number of people have already come to America in the last three years.
Figures obtained by Fox News show 102,313 Syrians were granted admission to the U.S. as legal permanent residents.
It means they entered the country under programs including work, study and tourist visas from 2012 through August of this year, a period which roughly coincides with the devastating civil war that still engulfs the Middle Eastern country.
The Obama administration says refugees must undergo a rigorous screening process that can take years.
Nevertheless, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly last month to make it more difficult for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to come to America.
Experts say any fears that terrorists might infiltrate the proposed wave of refugees from United Nations-run camps would be dwarfed by the numbers of those already in America.
‘The sheer number of people arriving on all kinds of visas and with green cards, and possibly U.S. citizenship, makes it impossible for our counter-terrorism authorities to keep track of them all, much less prevent them from carrying out attacks or belatedly try to deport them,’ said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies to Fox.
When asked by the media, refugees say they’re here to make a new life for themselves, not to stir up trouble. Many form miniature support networks, with earlier arrivals helping newcomers
‘It is highly unlikely that the 102,313 Syrians who were admitted over the past three years were effectively vetted,’ said spokesman Ira Mehlman, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
‘Even in countries where we have a strong diplomatic presence, the sheer volume of background checks being carried out precludes the kind of thorough vetting that is necessary.’
Lawmakers and more than half of U.S. governors, mostly Republicans, have raised questions about the vetting process for Syrian refugees being brought to the United States. Some said they were worried that Islamic extremists may try to take advantage of the U.S. refugee process.
The U.S. annually accepts 70,000 refugees from around the world. This group includes people fleeing violence, religious persecution and war.
The Obama administration announced earlier this year that the number of people invited to move to the U.S. as refugees would be increased to 85,000 in the coming year, including the 10,000 Syrians which has been so contentious.
The U.S. has helped resettle about 2,500 Syrian refugees since the war started in that country in 2011. The Obama administration said about half that group is children, while about 2.5 percent are people over the age of 60 and roughly 2 percent are single men of combat age. The overall group is almost evenly split among men and women.
The Syrians being admitted are coming directly from their homeland, usually through the U.S. visa program, as opposed to the refugees President Obama is seeking to take in through U.N.-run refugee camps. Most have secured legal entry before they arrive.
‘Refugees are part of the admitted category,’ said Jaime Ruiz, spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. ‘Their cases are approved prior to arriving into the U.S.’
Those who escaped Syria’s grinding civil war, which has killed an estimated 300,000, and made it to the U.S. are more likely to be those with the money and means to access the U.S. immigration bureaucracy, say experts. But even that system is susceptible to fraud.
Amid questions about background checks and security vetting, the administration has revealed details about how refugees are investigated. Read More