Last month, Francis Taylor, the DHS Under Secretary of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, told the House Committee on Homeland Security that “refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States.” Well, earlier this week, an Iraqi refugee plead guilty in federal court on charges of attempting to give material support to the Islamic State. If one man can evade the “highest level of security checks,” time will only tell how many others pose a security risk.
In January, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 24, who was brought here as a refugee in 2009, was arrested in Houston on charges of attempting to provide material support to ISIS. According to the plea agreement in court this week, Al Hardan wanted to blow up two malls in the Houston area. “I want to blow myself up. I want to travel with the Mujahidin. I want to travel to be with those who are against America. I am against America,” said Al Hardan, according to the local CBS affiliate. According to the FBI special agent involved in the case, Al Hardan was working with another Iraqi refugee, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, who was brought in as a refugee in October 2012 and just 13 months later allegedly flew to Syria to fight for terror groups in the warn-torn country. Al-Jayab is in jail in Chicago awaiting trial.
That is some vetting system we have in place. Al-Jayab allegedly wrote to a friend last year that “America will not isolate me from my Islamic duty.” But rest easy, we are promised that the over 150,000 Muslim immigrants we will bring in this year alone will easily assimilate into American culture.
According to the State Department’s refugee database, America has admitted roughly 135,000 Iraqi refugees since FY 2008 — with no sign of the pace abating. Ever since Congress gave Obama a blank check for his refugee increase last month, Obama has already accelerated the pace of Syrian refugees on top of the existing flow of Iraqi refugees. The reality is that even if the administration had a solid vetting system in place — which they don’t — there is no way to vet a mentality within Sharia law. How many more of these individuals subscribe to the mindset of “America will not isolate me from my Islamic duty?” And this is not even a belief the administration cares to weed out through social media.
What is evidenced from this case in Houston is that it doesn’t take many bad apples to wreak havoc on our homeland. Al Hardan taught himself how to make bombs and use automatic weapons, all for the purpose of large-scale attacks .
In addition to the gaping security hole in our refugee program, Obama’s other legacy has been the destruction of the even more perilous asylum process. While refugees are processed overseas, asylum seekers are able to show up on our shores and declare a credible fear of persecution even when their claim is specious. A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows that applications for asylum seekers have increased ten-fold since 2009! According to Jessica Vaughn, 90 percent of these applications have been approved, even though many of them have traditionally been rejected due to fraud. Yet, thanks to Obama’s illegal executive action granting asylum-seekers parole pending the outcome of their application (which is usually approved), instead of keeping them in custody as the law dictates, our country has become a magnate for asylum seekers. Although most of the asylum seekers are from Central America, there are concerns about Middle Easterners travelling to Central American countries via Greece and applying for asylum there. The U.S. Southern Command admitted to at least 30,000 “from countries of terrorist concern” crossing over our southern border in 2016.
Between the influx of refugees and asylum seekers, the growing surge on our southern border, the massive and influx of Cubans who are automatically eligible for welfare, who is looking out for the security of Americans? We are entreated to sob stories and highbrow rhetoric about our obligations to the world, but what about the one authentic obligation of the federal government to secure the sovereignty of the people and the states?
Sadly, these are the issues that have gotten overshadowed in the reality TV show of this election. If Hillary wins, it will clearly not be a result of popular support for her immigration policies. Assuming Republicans keep Congress, they can easily block the extension of Obama’s refugee and asylum policies. Unfortunately, as we warned earlier this week, absent a new opposition party, that will never happen, even in the face of a large-scale terror attack on our homeland.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.