Sunday, August 19 , 2018, 1:32 pm | Fair with Haze 75º


Joe Guzzardi: Americans Want Fewer Refugees, Barack Obama Wants More — Guess Who Wins?

Despite San Bernardino, Orlando, and most recently St. Cloud, Minn., and New Jersey and New York, President Barack Obama has vowed to accelerate his Muslim refugee resettlement agenda.

In San Bernardino, Syed Farook, of Pakistani ancestry, and his Pakistan-born wife, Tasheen Malik, killed 14 people.

In Orlando, Omar Mateen, whose family is from Afghanistan, killed 49 people after he swore allegiance to ISIS.

Somali-born Dahir Adan, an Islamic “soldier,” randomly stabbed and seriously wounded nine people in a mall in St. Cloud, Minn.

Finally, Afghanistan-born Ahmad Khan Rahami is the primary suspect in recent bombings in New Jersey and New York, and has been charged with the attempted murder of several police officers.

Farook and Rahami are U.S. citizens, but embraced the hatred of the United States that Jihad-breeding Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia share.

Although evidence clearly points to a flawed refugee system that merits re-evaluation, Obama pledged to increase the number of Syrian migrants, another terrorist sponsoring nation, to 110,000 during fiscal year 2017.

As part of the appeal Obama made to the U.N. General Assembly in September, Obama insisted that more refugees make the world a safer place, and dismissed the terrorist-induced horrors in Paris, Brussels, London, Nice, Germany and Canada.

In the meantime, in an astonishingly arrogant display — astonishing even for the Obama administration — Homeland Security Department immigration officials refused to attend a long-ago scheduled Senate hearing for the day after the U.N. meeting to review Obama’s expanded refugee plan. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the disgruntled chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, charged the administration with willfully subordinating Americans’ and Congress’ interests.

Americans worry about Obama’s unilateral decision to welcome more refugees. In citizens’ best interests and at a minimum, refugee resettlement should be evaluated regularly.

Take Somalia. The United States has been accepting Somalis since the 1980s, and continued unchecked through the Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama presidencies.

Since Reagan four decades ago, the United States has taken in a minimum of 150,000 Somalis. Not included in the 150,000 are other Somalis who entered on various outdated visa programs: temporary protected status, diversity visa lottery winners and student visas.

In all, the United States accepts about 70 percent of all permanently resettled refugees worldwide.

Obama and the presidents who follow him must develop a policy that provides safety to refugees while also protecting Americans — an achievable goal.

The Center for Immigration Studies found that the net government costs of settling one refugee in the United States for five years could provide five years of safety for 12 Middle Eastern refugees in their home region.

Most of the funds to provide for refugees in the United States comes from welfare and entitlement programs. Health and Human Services Department statistics show 90 percent of recent refugees from the Middle East receive food stamps, and about 70 percent receive cash assistance and government-funded health care — a huge taxpayer burden.

And there’s this statement from the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees: “Resettlement is not a right, and there is no obligation ... to accept refugees for resettlement.”

All is not lost. Congress could thwart Obama on his unpopular resettlement vision. Continuing resolution legislation for fiscal year 2017 would put a moratorium on refugees coming from terrorist hotbeds until appropriate screening procedures are in place and Congress is given a full accounting of the program’s costs.

— Joe Guzzardi is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) who now lives in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter: @joeguzzardi19. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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