The Senate’s final act before recess?

· July 14, 2016  
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Daily life in the refugee camp of Schistos, near Piraeus, on March 21, 2016. In Schistos camp all inhabitants are from Afghanistan. Wassilios Aswestopoulos | Sipa via AP Images

While everyone is fixated on the drama in Cleveland and Trump’s choice of a running mate, our political class is still violating our sovereignty and security with endless migrants from the Middle East. We have so many emergencies within our national security apparatus and military that can and should be addressed within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), yet the GOP-Senate chose to focus on more immigration as their final act before recess.

The Senate passed the Shaheen, D-N.H. (F, 2%) motion to instruct the conference committee negotiating the House-Senate differences in the NDAA to authorize a potentially unlimited amount Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghanis. Only 12 Republicans opposed the motion, which is non-binding, but makes it likely that an increase in SIVs will be in the final conference report:

Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97)

Grassley, R-Iowa (D, 68%)

Heller, R-Nev. (F, 57%)

Inhofe, R-Okla. (C, 74%)

Lankford, R-Okla. (C, 73%)

Paul, R-Ky. (A, 94%)

Risch, R-Idaho (C, 78%)

Rubio, R-Fla. (C, 79%)

Scott, R-S.C. (B, 89%)

Sessions, R-Ala. (B, 80%)

Shelby, R-Ala. (C, 70%)

Vitter, R-La. (C, 71%)

SIVs are afforded to those foreign nationals who serve as interpreters or contractors for the U.S. military abroad. On the surface, this seems like a prudent and compassionate move, and proponents of this are certainly playing the emotional card. However, this specific plan and the broader goal of getting involved in Islamic civil wars and then bringing in individuals from those wars is completely backwards.

First, as it relates to the Afghan SIVs specifically, Congress already added an additional 3,000 visas for these individuals plus an unlimited number for family members in last year’s NDAA. Most of those visas have not even been issued yet. So why would members of the Senate open the floodgates for even more visas at a cost of $446 million (the cost of just 4,000 additional visas, which was the original objective of the Shaheen amendment)? Remember, SIV recipients are treated like refugees and are immediately eligible for all social entitlement and resettlement programs. They are also permitted to bring in an unlimited number of spouses and children. In recent years, the program has been expanded for other support members beyond interpreters or those helping our soldiers on the front lines – and this program is in addition to a separate visa program specifically for interpreters.

Moreover, with the endless flow of immigration from the Middle East, why wouldn’t they at least cut other areas of immigration, such as the Syrian refugees who are arriving in the hundreds every week? Senators Sessions, R-Ala. (B, 80%) and Grassley, R-Iowa (D, 68%)attempted to negotiate a deal to offset the visa increase by reducing the number of visas issued from the diversity lottery. Yet, McCain, R-Ariz. (F, 35%) and the Democrats balked at the plan because their solution to everything is more immigration across the board.

Which brings us to the broader point: why is immigration the solution to everything? Why should our national security be dependent on letting in more people from the volatile countries we fight in? This cuts to the core of our failure to identify the enemy. The enemy is not just Al Qaeda or ISIS. The enemy is Sharia-based Islam. Even if we could possibly vet these people for not being double agents for the Taliban, a dubious task given the endless “green on blue” attacks in Afghanistan, most of these people believe in Sharia. Heck, the Afghani Constitution and government, for which our special operators are dying, is a sharia-based system. While some of those who come here will be as loyal to us as they were when serving our military, there is no way to ensure that either some of them or certainly their children, who are reared in a house sheltered by Sharia adherence, will not become problematic over time. Just last year, Bilal Abood, an Iraqi SIV recipient, who has since become a naturalized citizen, was arrested in Texas for suspected ties to ISIS. On top of that, thanks to the refusal of Congress to bring up Senator Ted Cruz’s R, Texas (A, 97%) Expatriate Terror Act, Abood will keep his citizenship.

As I’ve noted before, our post-9/11 response has been intellectually dyslexic because we fail to understand what we are fighting. In response to the horrible terror attack that was rooted in imprudent immigration policies, our military was dispatched to engage in endless operations in Afghanistan and Iraq … only to bring in more security risks through immigration from some of the most dangerous parts of the world.

What is so sad is that Republicans could have used this must-pass bill to address a number of emergencies in our military. Obama is remaking our military with transgender mandates, anti-religious bigotry, women in infantry at all costs, and terribly myopic missions in Syria and elsewhere. In addition, as administration officials testified at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, roughly 20,000 illegal aliens convicted of rape, robbery and murder (not including the tens of thousands charged with other crimes) were released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) just last year. Why was there no sense of urgency to address any of these issues before breaking for summer recess? When will members of Congress put our sovereignty, security and society before other political interests?

Alas, Republicans can always be counted upon to act with alacrity to promote some of the most harmful policies of the Left.


 

 

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

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