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Welcoming the next 10,000 Syrian refugees

Bloomberg View Published: September 18, 2016 4:00 AM

After a late-summer surge, the Obama administration has met its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. The Republican House Freedom Caucus considers that 10,000 too many, preferring to stop resettling Syrians until the administration can "assure no terrorists or individuals with radical sympathies or views will be admitted."

Such fears are largely misplaced. Few, if any, classes of travelers to the U.S. face greater scrutiny. Nevertheless, the process for admitting refugees from Syria can be tightened. And at least as important, the process of integrating them into American life can be improved.

Three-quarters have come via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which selected them from among the most vulnerable people languishing in refugee camps. Indeed, four-fifths of this year's arrivals have been women and children; nearly half are under 18. That said, the possibility remains that some of the rest might be Islamic State recruits such as those who have blended into the refugee masses flowing toward Europe.

But consider the months-long gauntlet they would have had to run -- including face-to-face interviews with officers from the Department of Homeland Security, medical exams, screening through intelligence databases, and case referrals back in Washington. A terrorist leader looking to infiltrate operatives into the U.S. could no doubt find easier ways.

No screening process is foolproof, of course -- especially, as FBI Director James Comey has pointed out, when you're dealing with people fleeing a war zone.

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It's also essential that the U.S. ensure that all the newcomers are successfully integrated, especially with the nation increasingly polarized by their arrival. Refugees go to the considerable strain of moving to the U.S. because they seek opportunities to work hard and improve their lives. Thus, they can be a boon to their new communities -- creating jobs, stabilizing shrinking school districts, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods, and helping communities thrive.

On the other hand, consider the costs of denying entry to any more Syrian refugees. It would feed Islamic State's narrative that the U.S. is anti-Muslim, and weaken America's global leadership. Set next to the nearly half-million Syrian refugees the United Nations says need to be resettled over the next three years, 10,000 is a pretty modest figure. Set against the more than 3 million refugees the U.S. has admitted since 1975, it seems very small indeed.


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redleg6 Sep 19, 2016 11:27 AM

From:..abc7.com... AP...WASHINGTON 9-19-16

The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants who had pending deportation orders from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday.The Homeland Security Department's inspector general found that the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and such discrepancies weren't caught because their fingerprints were missing from government databases.The report does not identify any of the immigrants by name, but Inspector General John Roth's auditors said they were all from "special interest countries" - those that present a national security concern for the United States - or neighboring countries with high rates of immigration fraud. The report did not identify those countries.....

***Thank You President Obama....!!!