Why Won't Obama Follow the Law And Use A Religious Test For Refugees?

syria-christians sm

The Syrian refugee crisis has raised a very real concern about the nature of the refugees that will be admitted under Obama’s resettlement plan. While America has historically been open to refugees, it has also drawn the line at admitting people who are inimical with our institutions. For instance, we have banned anarchists and communists from coming to the United States at various times in our past. The refugees we will be accepting come from an area that is infused with terrorism and there is no meaningful way to verify much of anything about there refugees. Sure, the procedures look nice on paper but when it is impossible to verify virtually any part of a person’s life story, the procedures become a joke.


Both Senator Ted Cruz and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have pointed out that maybe we could accept refugees and avoid importing terrorists if we simply brought to the United States Syrian Christians.

But Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush devised a compromise: The U.S. could admit Syrian refugees so long as the refugees are Christians.

“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror,” Cruz said Sunday in South Carolina.

“If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation,” Cruz reasoned. “But it is precisely the Obama administration’s unwillingness to recognize that or ask those questions that makes them so unable to fight this enemy. Because they pretend as if there is no religious aspect to this.”

On Monday, Cruz announced that he will introduce legislation to ban Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the country.

Jeb Bush, who urged a “really tough screening” process for refugees, said Monday, “I do think there is a special important need to make sure that Christians from Syria are being protected, because they are being slaughtered in the country and but for us who? Who would take care of the number of Christians that right now are completely displaced?”

Predictably, Barack Hussein Obama went bonkers:

Without directly naming GOP presidential candidates, the president blasted political leaders for suggesting the United States should accept only Christians fleeing Syria. He alluded to the fact that some of these same politicians — namely Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), whose father fled Cuba decades ago – -had benefited from America’s willingness to accept refugees.

“And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” he said, his voice rising. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”


There is an easy rebuttal to this freshman-in-high-school-debate-club type of response by our Internet Troll-in-Chief. We are actually, legally required to consider religion as a criteria for admission as refugees. Via Andy McCarthy at National Review:

Really? Under federal law, the executive branch is expressly required to take religion into account in determining who is granted asylum. Under the provision governing asylum (section 1158 of Title 8, U.S. Code), an alien applying for admission

must establish that … religion [among other things] … was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.

Moreover, to qualify for asylum in the United States, the applicant must be a “refugee” as defined by federal law. That definition (set forth in Section 1101(a)(42)(A) of Title , U.S. Code) also requires the executive branch to take account of the alien’s religion:

The term “refugee” means (A) any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality … and who is unable or unwilling to return to … that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of … religion [among other things] …[.]

The law requires a “religious test.” And the reason for that is obvious. Asylum law is not a reflection of the incumbent president’s personal (and rather eccentric) sense of compassion. Asylum is a discretionary national act of compassion that is directed, by law not whim, to address persecution.

There is no right to emigrate to the United States. And the fact that one comes from a country or territory ravaged by war does not, by itself, make one an asylum candidate. War, regrettably, is a staple of the human condition. Civil wars are generally about power. That often makes them violent and, for many, tragic; but it does not necessarily make them wars in which one side is persecuting the other side.

In the case of this war, the Islamic State is undeniably persecuting Christians. It is doing so, moreover, as a matter of doctrine. Even those Christians the Islamic State does not kill, it otherwise persecutes as called for by its construction of sharia (observe, for example, the ongoing rape jihad and sexual slavery).

To the contrary, the Islamic State seeks to rule Muslims, not kill or persecute them…


Most of the people who are refugees are economic refugees. They are fleeing hardship but they are not fleeing persecution. Under the law, they are not allowed to claim refugee status. We do know that Syrian and Iraqi Christians are in the midst of a genocide by ISIS and by various Arab governments to eradicate them via flight, forced conversion, or death. But what do the numbers show?

While Christians accounted for about 10 percent of the Syrian population in 2011 and face greater peril as a religious minority in a mostly Muslim region, fewer than 3 percent of the 2,187 refugees relocated to the U.S. since January 2011 are Christians, and the percentage of Christians granted asylum in 2015 has shrunk below even 2 percent. The main reason appears to be that once Christians escape the Assad regime’s barrel bombs and Islamic State’s brutal caliphate, they must navigate a hazardous refugee process fraught with gangs, sex trafficking and bureaucratic bias.

The Syrian civil war began in the spring of 2011 and, since that year, the U.S. has accepted more than 2,187 refugees, but only 61 Christians. The majority – 96 percent – are Muslims, mostly Sunni, while the another 25 refugees are a mix of atheist, no religion, other, Bahai, Yazidi or Zoroastrian. In 2015, the U.S. allowed in the bulk of its refugees – 1,829 – but only 30, or 1.6 percent, were Christian.

This shows an unconscionable bias on the part of the administration against religious minorities and illegally so. There is virtually no way any Sunni Muslim can meet the legal requirements for refugee status.


Obama has his lacy knickers in a knot over the fact that most of the nation are resisting his decision to bring tens of thousands of refugees into this nation who are not well vetted and are coming from an area where terrorism is a lifestyle and suicide bombing a competitive sport. My colleague, Leon Wolf, wrote at length on this presidential petulance earlier today. This is merely another case of Obama deciding to disregard the law in favor of his own biases and then getting incensed when other people disagree.

There are legitimate refugees out there and, as Bush and Cruz noted they are Syrian Christians. Yet the administration, in keeping with its hostility towards Christianity, seems to be consciously excluding them in favor of Sunni Muslims who cannot, by law, be refugees.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos