Judicial Watch Sues Obama Administration Over Refugee Program

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Judicial Watch is suing the Department of State for documents related to President Barack Obama’s Refugee and Resettlement program as part of an investigation into the Obama administration’s plan to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year, the conservative foundation announced Monday.

The suit was filed in Washington, D.C., after the State Department failed to respond to two Freedom of Information Act requests from Judicial Watch in 2015. In May, Judicial Watch sought records related to the State Department’s agreements and interactions with voluntary agencies that help place and assist new refugees. In September, Judicial Watch sought records regarding an August meeting between State Department representatives and a South Carolina non-profit.

“The Obama administration doesn’t want Americans to know about how it places refugees from terrorist states in their local communities,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says in a statement Monday. “The fact we had to file a federal lawsuit to obtain basic information about Obama’s dangerous refugee plans should tell Americans (and Congress) that the Obama administration has something to hide about refugees, terrorism, and national security.”

The Obama administration is lifting the annual cap on refugees in order to take in an extra 45,000 migrants by 2018, including a minimum of 10,000 Syrian refugees, Secretary of State John Kerry announced in September.

By 2017 the cap will be set at 100,000 new refugees per year — up from the current cap of 70,000 — in response to the European migrant crisis. The U.S. will admit an extra 15,000 refugees in 2016 and an extra 30,000 refugees in 2017, for a combined total of 185,000 new refugees in the next two fiscal years, Kerry said. (RELATED: US Has Half The Population Of Latin America, Six Times The Migrants)

Following terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., a growing number of governors have announced they will not accept Syrian refugees for resettlement in their states.

“Obama is pressing ahead with his plan even as Syrian refugees have been implicated in the Paris terrorist attacks in which 129 people were killed and 350 were wounded,” Judicial Watch notes in the press release, adding the plan is expected to cost $582 million. (RELATED: Many U.S. ‘Citizen Terrorists’ Are Also Legal Immigrants)

For the cost of resettling one Middle Eastern refugee in the United States for five years, the U.S. could pay to support the resettlement of 12 refugees in the Middle East, according to estimates from the Center for Immigration Studies.

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