As refugee contractors — who make money on every refugee they resettle — break into hyper-lobbying mode to demand that the Trump administration resettle “at least 75,000” in the coming fiscal year, the recent lies and criminal activity of five refugees who were resettled via the fraud-laden U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) are, once again, being willfully ignored.
Four improperly deemed “refugees” were charged with murder, lying to gain admission into the United States, and immigration benefits, among other crimes, while a fifth was charged with attempted murder.
In each case, the approved refugee likely would have been subjected to the much-touted, though often feckless, “enhanced vetting” that advocates say both ensures the legitimacy of the refugee claim and protects U.S. security interests. Nonetheless, at least four of the five successfully lied their way through what advocates claim is the “most vetted” interviewing process, duping refugee officers with their fabricated stories.
Sadly, these cases are simply the tip of the iceberg. As a Refugee Coordinator who covered the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Europe and Cuba for eight years, I had first-hand knowledge of country conditions and political realities, and I saw and read hundreds of fraudulent refugee claims. Disturbingly, the majority of refugee claims are ultimately approved, despite serious questions regarding the applicants’ reliability and truthfulness, often based solely on their testimony.
A blatant example is Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen, an accused long-time ISIS member, wanted for the murder of a police officer in Iraq, a crime he allegedly committed after he was approved as a refugee through the USRAP. In fact, during his so-called robust interviews with U.S. refugee officials, he admitted that he traveled back to Iraq on multiple occasions.
This, in and of itself, should have created red flags, since, by definition, a refugee fears persecution in his home country, and as such, cannot return. If a purported refugee is regularly traveling back to his home country, significant questions should have been raised regarding the legitimacy of his supposed persecution. Apparently, his lies were sufficient to overcome the “most robust vetting process.”
Similarly, the Ethiopian couple, who claimed to be Somali refugees who fled to China to escape their alleged persecution, were in actuality likely members of the Somali-based terror group Al-Shabab, responsible for major attacks that have left hundreds killed.
They were provided false Somali passports and instructed by the organization to pose as refugees to enter the United States. While their ultimate motive is not yet know, it appears from the many lies they told US refugee officials, their intent was malicious at best, and murderous at worst.
There’s another Ethiopian, now U.S.-citizen, who falsely claimed during the refugee application process that he never persecuted persons for their political opinion.
According to the indictment, the “refugee” served as a civilian interrogator in Ethiopia in the late 1970s, during a period known as the Red Terror. In that role, he is alleged to have participated in the brutal persecution of political prisoners. Likewise, a man who actively participated in the Rwandan genocide and then lied to gain admission to the United States as a refugee was sentenced in 2017 to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Finally there’s the Iraqi refugee, admitted in 2012, who is charged with shooting a Colorado Springs policeman in the head, and who had already been in trouble with the law at least nine times, including drunken driving, trespassing, assault, extortion and illegally possessing a firearm. Yet despite his criminal record, which should have warranted deportation, was allowed to stay. He was ultimately charged with the above-mentioned crime.
One element that links these cases is that all individuals came from countries compromised by government corruption, political instability, and in several cases, widespread terrorism.
Despite claims that refugees are subject to the most intense scrutiny prior to resettlement into the United States, the bottom line is that in countries with ill-functioning governments or where no reliable data exists, it is virtually impossible to vet refugee candidates.
Mary Doetsch, a recently retired 25-year veteran of U.S. State Department, has extensive experience working with the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.