Diary

We Already Have a Prime Case Study of Refugee Resettlement: Twin Cities, MN

ISIS strategy for America

We don’t have to wonder what might happen if this president pushes forward, against the will of the people, with admitting thousands of people from foreign lands that have virtually nothing in common with Western values. We already know what can and has happened by looking at Paris and other countries in Europe and here at home in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

Rep. Keith Elleson (D-MN) was interviewed on MSNBC yesterday morning and defended the president’s policy of increasing the number of refugees from Syria. He held up his home state, which has the largest Somali population in the U.S., mostly in the Twin Cities,  as an example of how we have a “good track record” and that DHS has done a” pretty good job” of screening refugees from Somalia.

If you consider at least a dozen young men from MN disappeared in 2014, presumably to join ISIS or other terror groups like al-Shabab from Somalia, a success, then fine. Or that in April 2014, six men were arrested and charged with conspiring to enlist with militant groups in Syria. Another report in Aug 2015 states “that at least nine young men and one woman from the Twin Cities have been charged. Five others who left Minnesota for the Middle East are believed dead.”

Yes, it’s probably true that most of these are young men and women grew up as American citizens and it’s not their parents that were initially settled here as refugees that went to fight with ISIS. The fact that these young adults, raised in America, want to go fight for ISIS makes it more disturbing.

Of course they aren’t the only young adults lured into ISIS’s web to travel to Syria and fight as we know and I’m not singling out Somalis but using it as a case study. Rep. Mike McCall (R-TX) just said over 70 arrests of ISIS supporters were made in the last year and the FBI has over 1,000 similar cases in all 50 states. We have no idea how many are citizens, legal permanent residents, refugees, asylees or visa overstayers. I wish we knew so that we could all base our refugee policy on facts that relate to national security.

But what it does point to is that when refugees and immigrants don’t assimilate, we pay a price. In the case of the Twin Cities and in many towns across the country where large populations of refugees were settled, they tend to stick to themselves. As more are allowed in, they seek out familiar faces and the congregation and segregation increases with time.

Again, who doesn’t want to live with people like yourself? The problems enter when the community is so close-knit, that they alienate non-members and become distrustful of Americans and our institutions. From MPR News:

Somali families probably don’t trust the government — or even leaders in their own community — enough to report any suspicions about their children, he said. Adam (Imam Abdisalam Adam, a religious leader and committee member) and other community leaders are trying to figure out an intervention model that would safely divert young people from violent ideology.

But the investigation has put a chill on many Somali-American community members. Federal authorities made clear at the time of the arrests in April that they would not tolerate anyone plotting to join ISIS. Those six defendants, who were 19 to 21, never left the United States. They could face decades in prison if convicted.

Some community members think the potential penalties for the young men are too harsh. Others believe a paid FBI informant who was friends with the defendants walked them into a trap.

That deep mistrust of government has also made it difficult for Luger, the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, to convince some Somali-Americans that the threat of ISIS is real.

We’ve seen this scenario play out in what are called no-go zones in several European countries with large, segregated Muslim populations. I saw an Algerian man interviewed in Paris yesterday say that many Muslims think the French are arrogant towards them, don’t trust them and therefore condone the killings as an eye for an eye. Where is the thanks for the host country?

It seems most Americans don’t want to so many Syrian refugees to be brought here since they can’t be screened properly. A journalist at National Review thinks it’s immoral to bring them here at a cost of 12 times the amount it costs to help one refugee in region. He likened it to saving just one person from a sinking boat instead of providing life jackets for all 12 people on board. Who is the lucky person that gets to live and who gets to decide?

The president tweeted out yesterday that he will bring 10,000 Syrian refugees here this fiscal year that began this Oct 1. We’re told that the screening process is vigorous and the State Dept. say it takes 18-24 months to complete per person. The U.S. has accepted about 2,200 Syrian refugees in the last 4 years, or about 550 per year. So doing the math, the admin would’ve had to have vetted 5,000 per year for the last two years or 2,500 over four years in order to make the 10K ready to come here within this fiscal year. The math doesn’t add up. Why didn’t he bring in more than 550 per year if they were already vetted?

We’re just supposed to shut up and accept them, knowing they can’t and won’t be screened properly? Did they hire more people to do the vetting to account for his 2016 surge? No worries, the admin is on it with a hashtag campaign: #RefugeesWelcome

Things can and do go wrong with our refugee programs. In 2008, the State Dept. suspended a family reunification program for all Priority 3 refugees over fraud concerns. From the WSJ in Aug. 2008:

The State Department says it began DNA testing with a pilot program launched in February to verify blood ties among African refugees. Tests found some applicants lied about belonging to the same family to gain a better chance at legal entry.

In February, the State Department launched pilot testing in Kenya to verify family relationships, mainly among Somalis. When applicants arrived for a previously scheduled appointment, a U.S. official asked them to volunteer for a DNA test. [snip] As word spread, some applicants began missing appointments, and others refused to cooperate.

Laboratory analysis of the samples indicated a large portion of applicants weren’t blood relations, as they claimed. “The results were dismaying,” says Ms. Strack. “This told us we had a problem with the program.”

So what happened after the legal means to come here was closed by the State Dept., including Somalis? They used the back-door method via Mexico. And now we know that 5 Syria nationals were detained in Honduras with fake papers trying to get to the U.S. and 8 Syrians were caught in Laredo. Yes, border security matters.

The bottom line is we can’t afford to allow even a few jihadists enter this country. It only took eight to obliterate France. Huckabee made a great point when he said, “If you had a ten pound bag of peanuts with just 10 poisonous nuts included, would you allow your kids to eat the peanuts?”. No. (Close enough for the quote).

Some things never change with this president. I wrote a diary here over a year ago titled, “If Outsourcing is the WH’s Foreign Policy, Then at Least SHUT THE DANG DOOR!” And it’s all coming home to roost:

Congress must use any and all means possible to shut down the borders since the president is derelict in protecting Americans from threats abroad that will most likely spill onto our soil in the future. We have no idea who is crossing our borders. While the overwhelmed CBP is playing babysitter, the cartels are using other routes to smuggle drugs, people, gang members and who knows what else into our county.

We already know of one American suicide bomber in Syria and it’s well known that many jihadists fighting in Syria have western country passports. It’s not a stretch to think that after they live out their jihadi dream vacation, they’ll want to come home and try out their newfound skills.

We must demand that our government secure the border now in this tenuous and dangerous time, before we crumble from within from terrorists on the move. Now is not the time for amnesty of any kind. Did we not learn anything from 9/11? We must demand they shut the dang door!  

We are a compassionate country that welcomes more refugees than any other country in the world. I think it’s time we rethink the blanket definition of a refugee and put America’s national security first, even if that sounds heartless. The threat for abuse of our policies by terrorists are known; they’ve told us what they plan. If the president won’t listen to the Republicans, can he at least listen to ISIS since they are foretelling their plans to destroy us?