Displaced Syrians will likely make up the next big wave of Muslim refugees coming to America.
Since the early 1990s, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees has selected 200,000 to 250,000 refugees from Islamic countries to be resettled in the United States. Most of them have come from Somalia and Iraq.
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Syria could soon be added to the mix in the midst of that country's brutal civil war. The Obama administration has been greasing the skids for the Syrian refugees for months, WND has learned, and the refugees will soon be dumped on American cities throughout the U.S.
In February, the State Department moved to ease the rules that protect the U.S. from accepting refugees with potential ties to terrorist organizations. The rules were seen as "too strict" by the refugee-resettlement groups that lobby Congress and the administration to continuously let in more Muslims from the war-torn Middle East.
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Then on Sept. 4, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman hinted at her daily press briefing that a new wave of refugees will soon be coming from another predominantly Muslim nation – Syria.
"The United Nations high commissioner for refugees just this year started referring Syrian refugees to the United States for processing," said Marie Harf. "Obviously, we have several thousand in the pipeline, and that number will continue to go up."
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Obama's State Department is expected to present Congress with a list within the next two weeks that shows the total number of foreign refugees it wants to accept into the country over the next year and the countries from which they will come. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
A few local newspaper reports have already surfaced, providing clues as to where some of the Syrian refugees will be delivered. The Winston-Salem Journal carried a report last week that the Triad area of North Carolina could receive some of the refugees. The first Syrian family has already arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is living in a hotel there, according to the Journal.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Sept. 10 that the city's social services were preparing for "a flood of refugees" from Syria and Iraq later this year. Cleveland, Akron and Columbus, Ohio, have been hotspots in the past for Muslim refugees coming from the Middle East.
Once the refugees are relocated to an American city, they are quickly connected to an array of taxpayer-funded social services, including Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized housing. Interpreters and tutors are often provided to help bridge the language gap that refugee children will find in local public schools.
Groups like Human Rights First, World Relief Corp., the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Catholic and Lutheran churches all have strong presences in Washington and often do the bidding of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, World Relief, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Church World Services and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society push for more foreign refugees to be resettled in America, which results in more federal grants flowing into their coffers.
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WND has documented in previous stories that more than 90 percent of the money used by these religious charities for resettling refugees comes from federal grants. They operate like government contractors in the lucrative resettlement business under the guise of providing "charity."
Most of the Syrian refugees will likely be coming from Turkey, where thousands have fled across the border from Syria, but others are huddled in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
Melanie Nezer, head of policy and advocacy at Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one of the organizations that resettles refugees in the U.S. using federal grants, wrote an op-ed March 28 in the New York Daily News in which she called for the U.S. to accept 75,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. That would be 15,000 a year coming to the U.S. under permanent refugee status.
"That’s a huge number," said Ann Corcoran, a writer and researcher for Refugee Resettlement Watch, a group that monitors the U.N.'s distribution of foreign refugees throughout the United States. She said 15,000 a year would be on a par with the Iraqi refugee program, which has produced the largest, fastest-growing refugee community in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.
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"Most of the Syrian refugees in these refugee camps are Sunni Muslims; they're not Christians," said Corcoran. "The camps in places like Turkey and Jordan, you're not going to find a ton of Christians."
The United Nations, working with the U.S. State Department, has already shipped approximately 115,000 Iraqis to American cities since Sept. 11. Another 100,000 Somalis have been resettled in the United States since that country devolved into civil war in 1993. The Somali refugees have been described as 99.9 percent Muslim by Somali-American leaders. The Iraqi refugees have also been majority Muslim and, while the exact percentages are more difficult to track, the Iraqis coming to the States have been estimated at 62 percent Muslim.
Culture clash in American cities
Once here, Muslim families have vastly more children than the typical American family. The average Somali couple in Minnesota, for example, has six children.
These refugee families have changed the demographics of their host cities, such as Shelbyville, Tennessee; Lewiston, Maine; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, all of which have reported culture clashes between Muslims expecting everything from foot baths at public colleges to dietary concessions at public schools. A Tyson Foods meat-packing plant in Shelbyville decided in 2009 to acquiesce to a local union’s demands to drop the paid holiday of Labor Day in favor of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, a decision that Tyson later reversed in the wake of a public backlash.
And in Minneapolis, Mayor Betsy Hodges sparked controversy in April when she showed up to a meeting with the city’s increasingly powerful Muslim community wearing a hijab.
Problems have also arisen with Islamic radicals recruiting young Muslim refugees in America. WND has reported in recent weeks about FBI investigations into 25 to 30 Somali refugees leaving their homes in Minnesota to become fighters for ISIS in Syria and the al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabab in Somalia.
Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” said it should come as no surprise that the U.N. would do everything in its power to flood the United States with as many Muslim refugees as possible.
She said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, which is comprised of 56 Muslim countries and the Palestinian Authority, makes up the largest voting bloc at the U.N. General Assembly.
“They’re very powerful, they’re very dangerous,” Geller said. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Geller, Corcoran and others such as Islam scholar Bat Ye’or have long warned that there are two methods of creating Islamic supremacy in the world. One is through violent jihad. The other is through al-hijra, or the Islamic doctrine of immigration.
"Basically you have those who want to take over (countries) through immigration saying to the jihadists “you guys need to stop cutting people’s heads off and be patient,'" Corcoran said. Al-hijra will accomplish the same goal over the long term in countries open to immigration, which includes the United States and most of Europe.
The U.S. takes in about 70,000 foreign refugees per year, more than any other country in the world. Besides the U.S., Germany and Sweden have also agreed to take in Syrian refugees through the U.N. program. Germany has agreed to accept another 10,000 Syrian refugees after already absorbing 6,000, while Sweden has agreed to accept up to 17,000 over the next year.
Creeping toward Sharia?
In 2011, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a two-day conference with the OIC in Washington to discuss how to implement U.N. Resolution 1618 to combat "religious intolerance" and "negative stereotyping" against Muslims in the U.S., which Geller said amounted to a version of the Muslim anti-blasphemy laws.
"It was to implement the Shariah is what it was," she said. "It was really an anti-free speech measure."
Then in 2013 a U.S. attorney in Tennessee, William Killian, said it is possible that some inflammatory comments about Muslims posted on social media could violate civil-rights laws. He later backed off his plan to criminalize an entire segment of speech deemed offensive to Muslims, a decision Geller notes came only after an intense public outcry.
"You know, we have real problems, they've disarmed the American people, misinforming them or not informing them at all," Geller said. "There are no human rights under the Shariah for non-Muslims, and so the U.N. is deeply problematic. And we do their bidding."
State Department documents show that Iraq has produced the single largest number of refugees resettled in the United States. In fiscal year 2013 alone, 19,488 Iraqis were resettled in America, followed by Burma with 16,299, Bhutan with 9,134 and Somalia with 7,608. Only 36 Syrians were allowed into the U.S. in 2013, followed by just 63 so far in 2014.
"But again, part of this is because the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees only began this year in mid-2014 referring refugees in large numbers to the United States," Harf said in the Sept. 4 briefing.
The Syrian civil war now has the potential to surpass even the Iraq War in its ability to create refugees. The war has caused more than 3 million Syrians to be uprooted since 2011.
Steve Emerson, a counter-terrorism expert and author of six books on radical Islam, said the screening process for refugees isn't tight enough.
"They’re doing very little vetting. Several years ago, it was discovered that Iraqi militants were being resettled in California," Emerson said. "So the resettlement program that’s going on around the U.S., the vast majority of refugees are not involved in terrorism, but certainly the vetting process is lacking. It’s not that easy to acquire the intelligence needed to deny someone refugee status if in fact the conditions that apply for asylum are met."
Then there is the problem of the powerful refugee lobby in Washington.
"You have a pro-refugee lobby in the United States that is very strong, and the Obama administration has been particularly receptive to it," Emerson said.
The U.N. has been trying to relocate 30,000 Syrians it considers most vulnerable, and the U.S. would normally accept half of those, according to witnesses who testified at a Senate hearing in January.
A State Department official, who asked not to be identified, told WND that refugees assigned to the U.S. by the United Nations are thoroughly screened by the Department of Homeland Security before they are allowed into the country.
"I would refer you to DHS on that, but I can assure you it’s a very rigorous process," the official said.
The United States admits more refugees per year than all of the other countries in the world combined, Harf said.
“I think we should make the point about refugees here, that the United States resettles more refugees than the rest of the world combined, period,” Harf said. “And I think our commitment to helping with resettlement of refugees is an important one that we take very seriously.”