Refugee Resettlement Program Raises Unsettling Issues

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

September 30, 2015

Spartanburg NewsLast week, I addressed the county council of Spartanburg, South Carolina, on the issue of resettlement of refugees in that community. Residents were upset that their local politicians had apparently abrogated their responsibilities to represent them by not taking a stand on the refugee resettlement.

Many local residents had multiple concerns about this program, but their chief concern was how these refugees would be vetted. This is why I was contacted by the Spartanburg residents.

The 9/11 Commission made it clear that the fundamental reason that the 19 terrorists who so savagely attacked our nation just 14 years ago was because of a multitude of failures of the immigration system. “The 9/11 Commission Report” and the companion report issued by the Commission's staff, “9/11 and  Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States,” stated that of the 94 international terrorists that the commission identified as operating inside the United States in the decade leading up to the 9/11 attacks, 59 committed visa fraud and/or immigration benefit fraud to enter the U.S. and embed themselves here.

My recent article for Progressives For Immigration Reform, entitled “The Immigration Factor –Naturalized U.S. Citizen Added to FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List” was predicated on the January 29, 2015, FBI press release entitled, “Naturalized U.S. Citizen Born in Somalia Added to FBI List.”

“On February 25, 2015, The Daily Caller published my commentary, “Political Asylum: How America’s Compassion Creates National Security Nightmares,” that was predicated on a February 12, 2015, ABC News report, “U.S. Officials Admit Concern Over Syrian Refugee Effort.”

Since those two reports, the Administration has announced that it will admit more Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their homeland. This violence is a direct result of the savage rampage of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, along with the violence perpetrated by the administration of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad against his own citizens. Obviously Assad will not help us with the vetting of his own citizens with whom he is in conflict, and it is impossible to separate the “good guys” from the “bad guys” without reliable “scorecards.”

On September 17, 2015, the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, published a worrying article, “PASSPORT TO TERROR: MailOnline reporter buys Syrian papers being sold to ISIS fighters sneaking into Europe hidden among refugees.”

This is how this report began:

  • Reporter bought $2,000 Syrian passport, ID card and driving license in Turkey under the name of a real man who was killed in the conflict
  • Forger boasted that ISIS fighters are using documents to travel to Europe to start terror sleeper cells or live under false name free of past crimes
  • Also being used by economic migrants from other countries exploiting generosity of Europe to Syrian refugees
  • Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee told MailOnline the scam was ‘deeply disturbing’ and should be ‘addressed immediately’
  • The blank documents are genuine, having been stolen from government offices by militias fighting regime of Bashar Al-Assad
  • EU border official admits fraud is rising and bigger than first thought

It is certainly understandable that our leaders would want to do whatever is necessary to prevent the carnage of innocent people in the Middle East. My grandmother was killed in Poland during the Holocaust because of our religion – we are Jews. However, as I have noted in my testimony at Congressional hearings, we must never permit terrorists to find in our compassion weakness or opportunities. The safety of America and Americans must be our number one priority.

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