Why America needs to know what Tillerson thinks about refugees
Rex Tillerson on Capitol Hill.

Why America needs to know what Tillerson thinks about refugees

A secretary of State with anything short of a full-throated opposition to this program will become a problem in the long run.

Posted January 15, 2017 06:00 AM by Daniel Horowitz Rex Tillerson on Capitol Hill.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at his confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate. Ron Sachs | AP Photo
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Given that Rex Tillerson is the first secretary of State nominee with absolutely no political or military experience, we have no clue where he stands on many critical geopolitical issues. After this week’s hearing, which was almost completely consumed with Russia and random Democrat priorities, he is still very much a blank slate, including on the all-important issue of refugees. 

One of the most important issues within the purview of the secretary of State is refugee resettlement in general and the UN’s Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in particular. Although the secretary of DHS is widely viewed as the point-man on the issue of immigration, the secretary of State is the gatekeeper. The State Department works with the UN to identify the pool of refugees and bring them to our shores.

A secretary of State who has his priorities straight would serve as a positive influence on Trump and urge him to shut down or curtail the program in the face of pressure from the global elites. On the other hand, a secretary of State who subscribes to the views of James Baker, Condi Rice, Bob Corker, and Robert Gates — all strong backers of Tillerson — could serve as a major negative influence on the president-elect.

With all the negative energy that will inevitably swarm Trump on behalf of Islamic refugee resettlement, a secretary of State with anything short of a full-throated opposition to this program will become a problem in the long run.

Shouldn’t we have some idea as to where Rex Tillerson stands on the refugee program and some of our visa programs? 

With the Obama administration working closely with the UN to “expedite” the selection process of Syrian refugees, Obama has flooded our shores with a record number of individuals who are impossible to vet, on top of the thousands of others from Somalia, Iraq, and Burma. Where does Tillerson stand on the surge center set up in Amman, Jordan? Will he shut it down?

Nobody will have more influence on forcing reforms to the UNHCR program or ending it altogether than the secretary of State. And that program must end, or we must withdraw from it. A recent Center for Immigration Studies analysis of a “UNHCR Projected Global Resettlement Needs” report demonstrates that not only is the refugee program a ruse for socially transforming America, but it also doesn’t even address the neediest individuals and is therefore counterintuitive to humanitarian goals. "Contrary to UNCHR and U.S. official claims, it is not necessarily the most vulnerable and urgent cases that are being submitted for resettlement,” writes CIS’ Nayla Rush.

The U.S. has already spent $5.6 billion on humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, is the largest donor to the UNHCR (which also promotes the Palestinian political jihad), and is by far the largest recipient of refugees under this program in the world:

UNHCR Table
Credit: The Center for Immigration Studies

As Nayla Rush observes, despite the tremendous cost, the security risks, and cultural transformation of settling America with the Islamic world, millions of refugees are still left out in the cold anyway. It will never be enough because the entire system is not designed to address the core problem. It would be 12 times cheaper to resettle them in the Arab world — closer to their homes with the goal of eventually returning home. Unfortunately, the UN would rather transform America, even if it is counterintuitive to its own stated goals.

In addition to handling refugee resettlement, the State Department oversees the issuance of most visas. What is particularly concerning is the rapid increase in foreign students from the Middle East. Last year, the State Department admitted roughly 1.2 million foreign students with roughly 157,000 coming from predominantly Muslim countries. This is a gaping security hole because they are predominantly young males who are coming straight from the Middle East and, unlike legal permanent residents, have no plans to establish a family or even attempt to share in the future of this country. We are literally recruiting from the subsection of the world that is most prone to subscribing to strict Sharia and Islamic supremacism, from those that have the zeal and energy to act on callings from ISIS and other terror groups. 

Shouldn’t we have some idea as to where Rex Tillerson stands on the refugee program and some of our visa programs? The secretary of State is the most important Cabinet official as it relates to the security aspects of immigration. In addition, Nikki Haley as ambassador to the UN, which is also a Cabinet-level position, will have tremendous influence over our policies related to international migration. There are certainly no signs that she has fundamentally changed her views on mass migration from the Middle East.

The point is we can’t merely hope for change on immigration; we have to ensure and demand it. While repeal of Obamacare has unfortunately turned out to be needlessly complex and uncertain, the repeal of refugee resettlement is very straightforward and does not require any complicated legislation. It would be nice if we had a sense of where this administration is headed. Radio silence on these issues seldom portends a strong change in a conservative direction.

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.