State Dept. Admits 8K Syrians So Far in FY2016

Brittany M. Hughes | August 10, 2016
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The State Department revealed Tuesday the United States has accepted 8,000 Syrian refugees so far this fiscal year, admitting they could actually exceed President Obama’s goal of admitting 10,000 migrants from the war-torn Middle Eastern country by Sept. 30.

Anne Richard, the assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration at US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said during a press call last Friday:

In Iraq we began processing refugee resettlement cases in Erbil in December 2015. Thanks to these efforts and through the coordinated efforts of the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, we can now say that we have 8,000 Syrian refugees so far this year and that we are very confident that we will welcome at least 10,000 refugees from Syria by the end of this fiscal year. Monthly totals have climbed from low numbers of refugees admitted in the first half of the year to higher numbers recently.

Based on data reported by on July 25, this would mean about 1,300 Syrian refugees arrived in the United States in the 11 days between July 25 and August 5. also reported that of the 6,726 Syrians who’d already been admitted into the U.S. as of July 25, only 23 of those – about 0.3 percent – were Christians, the most targeted religious group in the region.

From the report:

Of the July arrivals, 1,501 (99.0 percent) were Sunnis, and three (0.19 percent) were Christians. The other 11 (0.72 percent) were other Muslims.

But the Obama administration pinky-promises it's adequately screening all of these refugees before they’re brought over -- by running them against U.S. databases.

USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez claimed during the press call that all refugees are screened against “State Department databases, databases of Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Defense, but most critically from both the United States law enforcement and intelligence communities, including the FBI as well as a number of intelligence community partners.”

“In fact literally hundreds of individuals from different countries, including hundreds of individuals from Syria, have had their admissions to the United States denied because of information that was found in these databases,” Rodriguez claimed.

And that's great, but here’s the problem with this whole notion. We're screening non-U.S. citizens against U.S. databases. And no one sees how this might be problematic? Why the heck should screening a Syrian woman against an American law enforcement database be at all helpful? Unless someone’s got a blatant history of terrorism, committed a crime in the United States or has run around with an automatic rifle posting “I <3 ISIS” all over their Instagram, these sources wouldn’t necessarily trigger red flags.

The Defense Department and CBP can’t automatically access criminal records in other countries. Or a history of child abuse or sexual assault. Or a past of domestic violence, especially in countries that don’t really pay a lot of attention if you beat your wife. Or extreme religious leanings someone hasn’t plastered all over their Facebook wall.

And it certainly doesn't flag things like the potential for unending masses of refugees to fundamentally change the landscape of an entire nation.