The Mariel boatlift has faded to a bad memory. Jimmy Carter was president when Cuba gifted us with boatloads of refugees. Now Barack Obama is about to repeat the same mistake with two big exceptions: this time we are inviting trouble in and we have good reason to fear the results.
We can’t keep track of visa overstays. Our immigration problem is so out of control we can’t even agree on where to start, so for the time being we have given up. History has taught us more than once that bad things happen when we decide to let the world in so we can pride ourselves on America’s generosity. These lessons are being ignored as we prepare to invite in refugees from Syria.
If Homeland Security is telling the truth about the reasons behind its selective immigration enforcement, we don’t have the resources to track down the fugitives and criminals who arrived from south of the border. That means we don’t have the ability to look into the backgrounds and identities of thousands of refugees who might also be terrorists, either.
Are we hearing the truth?
U.S. can’t say no to refugees. How about terrorists?
Only in Obamaland can a confession like this be hailed as an accomplishment:
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,150 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.1
The occasion for self-congratulations was the removal of a child rapist to El Salvador. DHS press releases document the deportation of criminals and fugitives, including a murderer recently sent back to Guatemala after being kicked out once before.2 This is a good thing and ICE agents should be commended for their work. That doesn’t mean the agency can keep us safe if we add to its workload.
Jeh Johnson admitted in a November 20, 2014 letter that DHS is overloaded:
Due to limited resources, DHS and its Components cannot respond to all immigration violations or remove all persons illegally in the United States. As is true of virtually every other law enforcement agency, DHS must exercise prosecutorial discretion in the enforcement of the law. And, in the exercise of that discretion, DHS can and should develop smart enforcement priorities, and ensure that use of its limited resources is devoted to the pursuit of those priorities.3
He didn’t mention that the resource problem is in large part our own doing after years of failing to control the influx of immigrants into the U.S. He also failed to note that not enforcing the law as it applies illegal immigrants is central to Obama administration policy. If the problem really is resources, we are preparing to make it worse. If DHS already has too much on its plate, how will it deal with the proposed batch of unknowns from the Middle East and prevent terrorists from slipping in with them?
The problem with Johnson’s statements is that by all appearances his priorities are not being met. The border isn’t secure. Public safety is endangered by policies that include allowing sanctuary cities to thrive. While we are forced to tolerate propaganda about smart enforcement and limited resources, the newest scheme to bring Syrian nationals into the country raises a national security question we need answered before a single refugee sets foot on our soil:
Is the U.S. priority lives or propaganda and lies?
The Oval Office propaganda mill is hurriedly churning out reasons to bring 1,500 Syrian refugees here this year and a mind-boggling 10,000 more in 2016.4
Why the decision to let these refugees, including possible terrorists, into our country? The answer is simple. The White House says we have no choice:
It is not feasible for millions of Syrians to come to this country — we know that. However, we must do what we can to provide for their basic needs.5
We don’t have to provide for anything. We could say no. 70,000 refugees are already coming here this year,6 but politicians flock to the word “humanitarian” like bugs to a light. After Angela Merkel’s open-armed approach to dealing with Syria’s problems, what was our president supposed to say?
He should have said no.
While Harry Reid was touting our humanitarian efforts and blasting Republicans for obstruction of the Gayle Smith USAID nomination,7 did anyone recall his sponsorship of H.J.Res.431, a 1983 effort to return the criminals and crazy people to Cuba who arrived during the boatlift?8 Not all of the refugees arriving on our shores were the cream of the crop. Some of our new friends and neighbors were dumped from Castro’s jails and mental hospitals.
Ted Cruz warns of a much more concerning problem with Obama’s new plan:
This scenario would be of grave concern even in the absence of specific commentary by ISIS, but there is good reason to believe that ISIS is trying to use the outflow of refugees from Syria to help send terror operatives into Europe and the United States. Given these and other circumstances, the refugee flow out of Syria must be treated as a substantial national security risk.9
How will DHS deal with this risk? If we believe Jeh Johnson, it can’t. We don’t have the resources and we are kidding ourselves if we believe that the safety of the public takes precedence over pushing a massive policy agenda forward. All we need for proof is hearing the resource argument while we spend $4.5 billion on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.10 If we need more proof than that, look to the sanctuary city killing in San Francisco.
At least one group will benefit from the pending refugee fiasco. While we put on a show of trying to screen 11,500 Middle Easterners to keep the homeland safe, we won’t have time to worry about the fugitives and criminals still arriving via our Southwest border. That’s a big plus for the rest of our illegal population. If ISIS gives it any thought it could be a big plus for terrorists, too.