Washington watchdog Judicial Watch is asking the federal government to provide information about Barack Obama’s refugee-resettlement campaigns.
The organization filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in Washington federal court “for records on sites that were considered for the resettlement of refugees in the United States during the last two years of the Obama administration.”
The watchdog wants all records “reflecting the locations within the United States that were considered as possible sites for refugee resettlement under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in 2015 and 2016.”
It also is seeking records about the local organizations working in their communities in the resettlements.
Nearly two years ago, Judicial Watch released 128 pages of paperwork showing a secret strategy under the Obama administration for Rutland, Vermont. The mayor and a few private groups worked “to conceal from the public their plans to resettle 100 Syrian refugees into the small southern Vermont town,” Judicial Watch said.
The mayor and others “shrouded the plan in such secrecy that not even the town’s aldermen were informed of what was taking place behind closed doors.”
Eventually, the aldermen raised protests to the State Department and started investigating the mayor.
The refugee program is run by the State Department, which now has admitted it is working with nine major nonprofit groups, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for their work to resettle refugees.
There were nearly 85,000 such people admitted to the U.S. during 2016, almost exactly on target with what Obama wanted.
They included 16,370 from Congo, 12,587 from Syria, 12,347 from Burma, 9,880 from Iraq and 9,020 from Somalia.
They also included nearly 39,000 Muslims given special access to the United States, the report said.
While there were 70,000 admitted the year before, and Obama wanted 110,000 admitted during 2017, under President Trump, only 29,322 were admitted in 2017.
It was at that time the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported, “Increases in the number of USRAP applicants approved for resettlement in the United States from countries where terrorists operate have raised questions about the adequacy of applicant screening.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said his group wants to know “which towns across America were, without input and over the objections of residents, targeted for refugee settlements by the Obama administration.”
“And we are investigating to make sure now that the current State Department is being more transparent in its placement of refugees,” he said.
WND reported last February that dozens of resettlement offices were closed or cut back because of the abrupt reduction in admissions with special privileges.
Ann Corcoran, a leading refugee watchdog who authors the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog, told WND at the time she believed the Obama administration and the federal resettlement contractors were deliberately trying to turn red states blue by injecting them with refugees who tend to vote for Democrats.
Last year, Denmark said it would no longer “allow any refugees into the country this year under a United Nations program and will seek flexibility in determining how many may resettle in the future instead of a set quota.”