Syria

What's the Vetting Process for Syrian Refugees and Where Else Do Refugees to the U.S. Come From?

Fears are overblown.

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FreedomHouse/flickr

In September, President Barack Obama directed his administration to prepare to accept 10,000 refugees from Syria in fiscal year 2016. That number is about one third of the total number of refugees the U.S. accepted from the Near East/South Asia in fiscal year 2013, the most recent year for which the State Department has made such numbers available. That year, the U.S. accepted 32,390 refugees from the region. It set the ceiling at 33,400 that year. Iraq topped the regional list, with 19,488, followed by Bhutan with 9,134. The U.S. only accepted 34 Syrians that year.

After one of the terrorists from the Paris attacks was found to have entered Europe through Greece as a Syrian refugee, opposition has grown to the Obama administration's decision to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees, its first commitment to taking in refugees from Syria since the five-year-long Syrian civil war has started. At least 27 governors, all but one Republicans, have said they don't want Syrian refugees settling in their states. New Hampshire's Democrat governor, Maggie Hassan, joined the Republicans. Four Republican governors, North Dakota's Jack Dalrymple, South Dakota's Dennis Daugaard, Maryland's Lary Hogan, and Utah's Gary Herbert have not said they would try to prevent Syrian refugees from being settled in those states.

Some opponents of accepting Syrian refugees worry that the FBI can't properly vet them. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) told me on Twitter last night he'd be "all in" if it were possible to vet Syrian refugees. Refugees from every country face the toughest screening process of any class of migrants to the U.S. The belief that the FBI is unable to properly vet Syrian refugees comes from a congressional hearing last month where FBI director James Comey said it would be "challenging" to vet Syrian refugees because of the lack of data sets available to the FBI—things like local police records, information from intelligence services and the like—in Syria. Comey did not appear to say it was impossible, just challenging.

By comparison, while Somalia topped the failed/fragile state index from 2008 to 2013 (suggesting little infrastructure on the ground that could offer the kinds of datasets that make the FBI's vetting job easier), the U.S. accepted nearly 30,000 refugees from Somalia in that time. Somalia is home to Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, which has launched multiple attacks in Kenya and called earlier this year for terrorist attacks against malls in the U.S. In fact, in 2013, the U.S. accepted about 34,000 refugees (more than half from Iraq) from countries ranking higher on the failed state index than Syria.

While the FBI's common-sense acknowledgement it would be "challenging" to vet Syrian refugees is a primary argument deployed against the US accepting more of them, the FBI is not the only agency responsible for vetting refugees.

Philly Voice explains the process:

PREPARING THE FILE

Applications go to one of nine State Department-funded "resettlement support centers" overseas run by international or non-government groups. Caseworkers, who are not U.S. government officials, collect information from applicants.

THE INTERVIEW

Officers from the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services travel from Washington to where the applicants are to decide whether they meet the legal definition of a refugee, based on whether they have faced or likely will face persecution.

SECURITY CHECKS

Applicants undergo multiple background and security checks involving the National Counterterrorism Center; the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center; Homeland Security; and the State Department. Details of the checks are classified.

After the security check, there's a health screening, a three-day cultural orientation and, finally, settlement. The whole process takes up to two years. According to Philly Voice, most of the Syrian refugees so far have been settled in Michigan, Illinois, Texas, and California. The governors of the first three states are among those saying they will refuse more Syrian refugees. Yet none of them pointed to any specific problem, or hint of a problem, they've had with the limited amount of refugees they have taken so far.

The U.S. accepted 70,000 refugees in fiscal year 2013, down from 80,000 in fiscal year 2008. An additional 10,000 is not an overwhelming number. Because of the nature of refugees (people fleeing violence and persecution), they tend to come from countries with a poor security environment and sketchy datasets. Yet the federal government is capable of bringing them in. Of the numerous terrorist plots U.S. law enforcement says it's foiled, none has been used as critics of accepting Syrian refugees an example of refugees "infiltrating" the U.S.

And while 10,000 has become a politically contentious number, it represents just .0025 percent of the four million refugees the Syrian conflict has produced so far. Two million of them are in government camps along the Turkish-Syrian border. More than a million Syrians fled to Lebanon, where they have access to basic public services. More than 600,000 more Syrians are in Jordan, with another 400,000 in Iraq, Egypt, and Libya.  

Since 2011, more than 350,000 Syrians applied for asylum in Europe—138,000 in 2014. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugee says traffic across the Mediterranean, with refugees coming from the Middle East and North Africa, has increased by 80 percent this year. About 80,000 Syrian refugees applied for asylum in Europe in the year ending July 2015—94.5 percent were admitted, compared to an overall admission rate of about 64 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, more than 95 percent of the about 70,000 refugees from Albania and Serbia had their applications rejected.

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NEXT: This Isn't America's First Freakout Over Refugees

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  1. Reason has suddenly developed a touching faith in the Federal government’s competence.

    1. Good point.

    2. Paying to import new welfare recipients is the Libertarian thing to do.

      1. +2 internetz

      2. But……..but……..open borders! Sputter! Sputter!

    3. It’s fascinating seeing comments like this from people who have a touching faith in the Federal government’s capability to “keep them safe” and keep out undesirables, all without impinging even more on civil liberties and freedom. Smells like…what’s that called again? Projection?

      1. “Keep out Undesirable” = Not paying to import people and then pay for their upkeep. This isn’t normal immigration.

        1. Please stop lying.

          1. You need to stomp your feet and put your fingers in your ears more

          2. Which part of “two year resettlement process” do you not understand? Who do you think is paying for that you fucking half wit?

            1. come on now he’s probably just a regular half wit…no need to promote him.

          3. Don’t worry about it. You’re just a Canadian. Nothing for you to see here. Just go back to eating your maple syrup covered back bacon and listening to your Ann Murray records.

        2. Correct. Libertarians who believe in Open Borders in a fully libertarian world have a point that I agree with. Theoretically, it makes perfect sense.

          Libertarians who believe in Open Borders in the reality that we live in are delusional.

          This inability to differentiate fantasy from reality on many issues is what keeps libertarianism down.

      2. I don’t trust the government to keep me safe. That’s why I don’t want to let in a quarter of a million people, some of whom will inevitably terrorists.

        1. And who exactly do you think will be executing the “not letting them in” thing?

          1. There is a difference between executing “not letting them in” and actively bringing them here on the taxpayer dime. Libertarians should oppose this on that point alone.

            1. Not Cato, but then, he isn’t even American. So it’s not his money, or his risk.

        2. Are you seriously this self-unaware? You aren’t letting anyone do anything. The goons who are hired and paid by the people you vote for are doing that. In other words, you are trusting the fucking government to keep you safe.

          I can’t even believe I have to point this out. It’s fucking amazing.

          1. We’re importing them. There’s an ocean between us and the government already controls the people who get on planes to cross. It’s trivially easy to control, but in this case it’s even easier. Just don’t ship them in.

          2. Well you could try with Ed, but I don’t think he’d get your point.

          3. OK. Try this formulation. I don’t want the government encourage the importation of quarter of a million people, some of whom will inevitably be terrorists.

            Did that clarify things?

            1. “Encourage” being yokeltarian for “allow”.

              1. Encourage=import

              2. Given that we’re paying for these refugees’ transport, “allow” is a bit disingenuous.

              3. You talk like you are somehow more sophisticated than the rest of us. You are not.

    4. Yeah, next thing you’ll know is they’ll think the federal government could police a 2,000 mile border and track down/deport millions of illegals who live among us.

      1. That would be yuge.

    5. And still not addressing the broader question: why would a terrorist use a process that can take two years for a slim chance of getting settled in the US, which includes the government building a file on you and knowing your location?

      1. Based on performance with the Boston marathon bombers, a terrorist would say, “Sure, why not. It isn’t that I’ve got anything better to do.”

        1. Those Tsarnaevs were a crafty pair of teenager/prepubescent boys, getting their dad to move the family to the US and then waiting 11 years to strike.

          Also, whoa, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born the day after me! Given the distance between Russia and LA, maybe we were born at the exact same time…!

          1. You realize, of course, that Russian intelligence warned the US that the family were likely bad ‘uns; that the FBI had its eye on Tamerlan and had interviewed him but then lost interest in him: that Tamerlan traveled several times back and forth to the country from which his family needed asylum and this was unnoticed.

            That is well known and that’s why a potential terrorist would be led to think he could could do pretty much as he pleased after getting into the country.

            1. And you think these same people who couldn’t keep track of the Tsarnaevs despite all this can keep bad people out of the US however much power you give them?

              1. No they can’t. That’s why I want extreme restrictions on MENA area immigration.

                1. But it’s these same people who are going to enact these “extreme restrictions.”

                  When you consider just *how* extreme those restrictions are going to have to be to have *any* chance of working, and then factor in *who* is going to be responsible for administering those restrictions, your cost-benefit ratio goes way past the point of even being worth considering.

              2. “The government cannot keep them out, therefore the government must actively import them” is not an argument, it’s fucking lunacy.

            2. My understanding is that the Russians warned the US about Tamerlan, not the parents.

      2. Why? Because he can.

      3. Only two years? Compare to current immigration wait lines, that is pretty quick.

    6. Libertarians love open borders way more than limited government, for some reason.

    7. And considering this is the way our Commander in Chief thinks……….

      http://www.breitbart.com/video…..errorists/

  2. Of course, the first thing to do is stop referring to the wave of migrants exiting MENA as either Syrian or refugees. The majority are neither.

    Now, maybe we are talking about a subset that actually are both Syrian and refugees. But I guess that’s part of the vetting that our crack security teams are doing with the precision and thoroughness that we have come to expect?

    1. Read back through all the responses.

      What is it with you knuckleheads and your fetish for women with mustaches?

    2. You keep making this claim RC. Still not seeing the evidence.

      1. Why are you so obsessed with transporting these people to a foreign country *The units States)? It’s really none of your fucking Canadian business.

    3. Of course, the first thing to do is stop referring to the wave of migrants exiting MENA as either Syrian or refugees. The majority are neither.

      On what basis do you make that judgement? I’m honestly asking, I don’t really know one way or the other.

      1. Here’s a couple:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..Syria.html

        If you dig around (try “www.Google.com”) you can find more.

  3. How about we only take girls 18-25?

    1. Dude, come on. We should be willing to go to 30. You know, for the really cute ones. Have a little compassion!

      1. OK, but I want them vetted.

        1. I volunteer.

        2. I’m already on it. Them. You know what I mean.

          1. Will you be weeding out people who stand on the left side of an escalator? Because they are a real fucking problem. What is the point of assimilation when a bunch of native Chicagolanders are worse than terrorists anyway?

            1. Maybe Nikki should vet them, these are more than likely the same people who cruise in the passing lane.

              1. If you ask me they are the real terrorists.

            2. I’m not quite as ruthless and bloodthirsty as you, Nicole. I would merely weed out anyone who answers the following question in the affirmative: “do you think deep dish is pizza?”

              1. If you’re not ruthless, you’re going to let in all sorts of annoying assholes. And no one wants that. Even you?you don’t need that kind of competition.

                1. Nicole, come on. No one can compete with me in that way. I’m not worried.

              2. ……..How deep are we talking?

            3. “THAT was the equation. EXISTENCE! SURVIVAL. . .must cancel out programming!”

              Oh, sorry. What I meant to say is that I have a cunning plan. We should allow citizens to sell their citizenship to noncitizens. That’s it, our entire immigration policy, with no other path to citizenship. Want to come in, someone has to go.

              1. I’ll sell my citizenship. I’m not hardly using it. I’ll stay here just the same, though.

                1. Right, you don’t have to leave. You can always apply for resident alien status.

                2. Hey, then you could go to any college you want and get in state tuition rates.

                3. And you will then get free shit from Uncle Sucker as an illegal.

              2. I love this plan. Auction time!!!

                I’m also willing to trade for a Swiss citizenship.

                1. That probably would require two U.S. citizenships these days. Perhaps a citizenship auction site is in order? Kriegslist? eGoAway?

            4. Can we put people who ride bicycles against traffic on the list too?

              1. If we just make them fair game for traffic fatality scoring; I’ll get my brush bar attached to the Ranchero and start taking care of the problem immediately.

                I propose +15 for anyone on a bicycle.

                /Welcome to the Transcontinental Road Race. The following scores have been issued by our very own Mr. President for this historic year 2000 Road Race…
                …teenagers, forty points…
                …toddlers, seventy points…
                …seniors, one hundred points…

                …and for all you lucky ladies out there, a racer will receive an additional ten points for every woman scored… and the race committee wishes to remind you all that any score is a good score!

        3. Now we know what Tinder was invented for.

        4. have you seen any of these “women” looks like they need a vet rather than a vetting.

          1. Uggos, or furries?

      2. 30? jesus they might as well give them a cracker barrel gift certificate and point them in the direction of the nearest nursing home when they approve their papers.

      3. doesn’t this country have enough homes for cats?

        1. Indeed. Until all the kitties have good homes we have no business importing Muslims from anywhere.

    2. I think that is a compromise everyone could get behind.

      1. TIWTANLGBTL

        1. Wait, scratch the first L.

          1. What about the “B”? Don’t they get behind everyone?

            1. Yeah, and at least some of the “T”‘s should be on board, too.

            2. Yeah, that occurred to me but by then the joke wasn’t funny any more.

    3. I imagine the vetting process will involve wearing a white tshirt and being sprayed with a hose?

    4. A ceiling of 25, agreed. But the floor should be the refugee-accepting state’s age of consent.

    5. I’d get behind it if we limited it to women with two or less children and prioritized the completely childless. Non-married single women are good for integration especially if they are in big enough numbers to require finding spouses in the native population.

    6. Are their hoohas intact?

      And in this case, can we maybe let some Jordanians in too? And Iranians.

    7. You just othered OldManwithCandy. Shame on you.

      1. He only likes them so white that they are pink.

    8. Read back through all the responses.

      What is it with you knuckleheads and your fetish for women with mustaches?

      1. What are you into, beards?

    9. 14+ works ok. Then we have a steady supply of ‘barely legal’ chicks over the next five years.

  4. Obama focusing on gun control for his final year:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com…..medium=RSS

    Guess he really wants to give his fellow Dems a hand in winning their elections!!

    1. NRA manchurian candidate confirmed.

    2. We won’t truly be safe from Big Terror until our right to self defense has been fully dismantled.

    3. He is already the greatest gun salesman ever, what does he want?

      Dammit. Everything was just coming back. it is going to be bought out again. Time to stock up on brass and primers.

      1. We integrated Italians. And laser hair removal gets cheaper every day.

        1. It did come with a price,

        2. christ. it’s like P Brooks made love to the server squirrels.

        3. Ha ha, you just think you did! Do you seriously believe Nicole and I are actually assimilated?

          Un Sacco Di Natale! For the pope!

          1. Remember it was an Italian who missed FDR and killed the mayor of Chicago by mistake. You guys really are the worst.

      2. Tell me about it.

        Guess I can push off getting that AR in .308 for another year or two. a-hole.

        1. I suppose this will make pistols scarce again too. Maybe I should buy what I want now instead of waiting,

    4. The Democrats have decided that Bloomberg money is more important than, you know, actual votes.

  5. Why attack a mall? If you want to disrupt our lives, then target an Amazon distribution hub.

    1. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

    2. Or a Netflix server.

  6. THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US ALL!

    1. It only takes one, Brooks, and then the blood is on YOUR hands!

  7. What do Americans gain by letting these potential terrorists/welfare recipients/Democrats in? NOTHING.

    1. What do they lose by letting people exercise their right to pursue lives of freedom and opportunity?

          1. Refugees receive a level of state-sponsored services.

            1. And if the government forbade the refugees from coming to the US, Americans would get that tax money back, right?

              1. “And if the government forbade the refugees from coming to the US, Americans would get that tax money back, right?”

                Not likely, but it very well may go towards something they prefer more.

                1. Not likely, but it very well may go towards something they prefer more.

                  Something some of them prefer more. That is how it always works.

                  1. Of course Nikki, if you want to draw the line at no taxes and no government I’m there, otherwise someone, somewhere is going to get gypped.

                  2. The some in that sentence being your elected politician.

                2. Well for my part I would prefer to see the government spend its blood money on helping desperate people escape from conflicts and get a chance at a better life rather than have it buy another billion dollars worth of drones and heavy arms to fuel said conflicts.

                  But my say in how the government spends its money is exactly the same as anyone’s: zero.

                  1. “Well for my part I would prefer to see the government spend its blood money on helping desperate people escape from conflicts and get a chance at a better life rather than have it buy another billion dollars worth of drones and heavy arms to fuel said conflicts.”

                    And I’d rather it spent it on fixing the pothole in front of my house than either.

                    Zero say indeed.

              2. Yeah I’m sure you apply this logic to welfare and the military. What they’ll do is just print money to pay for it.

              3. And if the government forbade the refugees from coming to the US, Americans would get that tax money back, right?

                A fine argument for never cutting any spending, ever.

      1. ‘Letting’ them? Are we stopping them now and Obumbles just wants us to quit?

        1. He wants to greatly increase the intake rate, so, yes.

        2. Yes, we are. It’s a fucking pain in the ass to get into the US, particularly if there isn’t a land border you can easily cross.

      2. What do they lose by letting people exercise their right to pursue lives of freedom and opportunity?

        Like those Mexicans the Obama administration is deporting? At least the Mexicans likely WERE coming for economic reasons, unlike refugees. The administration is effectively saying “It’s OK to come here as a political reasons, but fuck you if you come here as an economic refugee”.

        If your stance requires believing in American Fables while denying the reality of the US welfare state and the history of Muslim immigration in European welfare states, then you’re already conceding defeat.

      3. Here is what they avoid by lettig them in.

        https://goo.gl/GV4RI5

      4. Here is what they avoid by lettig them in.

        https://goo.gl/GV4RI5

    2. Their women and their labor. And hopefully some good halal platters.

      1. You said it, man. I could fuck up some chicken tawook right now.

  8. And while 10,000 has become a politically contentious number, it represents just .0025 percent of the four million refugees the Syrian conflict has produced so far. Two million of them are in government camps along the Turkish-Syrian border. More than a million Syrians fled to Lebanon, where they have access to basic public services. More than 600,000 more Syrians are in Jordan, with another 400,000 in Iraq, Egypt, and Libya.

    So what? The total number of refugees or the numbers other countries are taking has no bearing on the question of whether we should take any.

    1. By comparison, while Somalia topped the failed/fragile state index from 2008 to 2013 (suggesting little infrastructure on the ground that could offer the kinds of datasets that make the FBI’s vetting job easier), the U.S. accepted nearly 30,000 refugees from Somalia in that time. Somalia is home to Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, which has launched multiple attacks in Kenya and called earlier this year for terrorist attacks against malls in the U.S. In fact, in 2013, the U.S. accepted about 34,000 refugees (more than half from Iraq) from countries ranking higher on the failed state index than Syria

      Maybe you missed this Ed but Al Shabaab is not ISIS. And more than a few Americans have joined Al Shabaab. No, Al Shabaab has not yet launched their promised attacks on US shopping malls. What makes you so sure they never will other than blind faith? And even if they won’t, what makes you sure ISIS doesn’t actually mean it? Funny how you are willing to risk other people’s lives to prove your blind faith.

      After the security check, there’s a health screening, a three-day cultural orientation and, finally, settlement. The whole process takes up to two years.

      Just out of curiosity, who exactly is paying for that? Reason is all about small government and taxes being theft and all that unless the money going to support the sacred cow of open borders. Why the hell do the tax payers owe a single fucking dime to resettle these people?

      1. “No, Al Shabaab has not yet launched their promised attacks on US shopping malls.”

        Exactly. If the appearance of one bear justifies the Bear Patrol (and the Bear tax to pay for it) surely the possibility that a terrorist attack might happen should justify some civil liberties restraining!

        1. Winning 129 body bags at a time. We’ve got them on the ropes now!

        2. Can somebody please translate the deep of how not importing people on my dime is restraining civil liberties?

          1. If you are not willing to pay for a two year resettlement process for a bunch of people who may or may not want to kill you, you hate freedom.

            1. Well, clearly every person in the world has a right to come live in the US as a citizen and all expenses related to that are my responsibility. Including all the welfare and support programs. Because open borderz iz good.

        3. Yes dumb ass, the lack of harm at the current time does not mean the risk does not exist. That is why it is a risk not a certainty.

      2. No. But I think that the point is that we have taken in other groups of refugees that might contain terrorists among them and nothing much has happened.

        Maybe these people are different, but I don’t see much reason to think so.

        So the question is why are people who are screaming about these refugees not constantly screaming about how terrible it is that we are paying for refugees to come to the US, since that happens pretty consistently.

        1. Maybe these people are different, but I don’t see much reason to think so.

          I can name you at least 129 people in Paris who think differently. We won’t know who is right until after we let them in. The question is why take the risk? We don’t owe these people a duty to come in. And we certainly don’t owe them the kind of money it is going to cost to resettle them. And it is not like there are a shortage of people wanting to come here. Even if the risk of taking them is one in a thousand, where do you and reason get off telling the American people they not only must accept that risk they must also have their money stolen to pay for taking it?

          1. Dead people don’t think anything.

            There is some risk to letting any refugee in. And I don’t think there is much reason to believe that any particular refugee from Syria is more of a risk than the many refugees from Iraq, Somalia, etc.

            I’m not saying there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Just that because of the recent attack in Paris there is an irrational extra fear about this particular batch of refugees. And that bringing in these refugees to the US is not a new kind of thing, but something that has been happening consistently for years.

            The question of whether or not we have a duty to take in refugees is another one entirely. I don’t have a clear answer to that. I’m inclined to think that a government has some responsibility to take care of innocent people harmed through military action. But on the other hand, I don’t think I ought to have to pay for it.

            1. I’m not saying there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

              True Zeb you are not saying that. What you are saying is that the American people are just going to have to worry about it well because damn it they owe the rest of the world help. Why does the US have some duty to help people out? And given that there are 6 billion people in the world, hundreds of millions or even billions of whom live horrible lives, how exactly can the American government do that and also look out for the interests of its own people?

              The best you can tell me is “well I think this will be okay”. Fine, good for you. Maybe you are right about that. You still have failed to give me any reason why the US should do this. You have just told me it will not end badly, you hope. No thanks.

              1. No. He’s saying that this is not a new situation, and that forbidding this particular batch of refuges asylum does not mean that you *don’t* have to worry.

                The government cannot make you safe, no matter how badly you may want them to.

              2. I never said or intended to indicate that I think this will be OK (nor did I say otherwise). I didn’t say anyone had to do anything. I haven’t taken a position on what the US ought to do about refugees. Why do you insist on assigning one to me? You know what I think about immigration, but actively bringing in and supporting refugees is a whole different issue.

                Your problem, John, is that you always seem to care more about people’s hidden intentions than what they are actually saying. Which is pretty much the basis of our disagreements in this thread. I’m trying to discuss what people actually said/wrote and you want to judge their intentions.

            2. You make a good argument for closing the borders and not letting any refugees in at all. I approve your plan Zeb.

  9. But if they don’t get enough information to pass the security check and verify their origin, then the feds just let them in, right? That seems to be what a lot of commenters here think.

    1. A lot of ‘open borders’ people make exceptions for security risks.

    2. MJ, nothing can be verified. There are no reliable records, or no records at all. All we have to go on is their word.

      There is no vetting.

        1. Which department are you going to call in the Syrain government to verify their papers? It’s not like querying Interpol.

          1. FFS, that’s not the point! That’s the exact opposite of the point!

            They do not have proof that they come from Syria.
            The US/UN cannot confirm they come from Syria
            What happens? What proof is there that the UN or the different US agencies decide to let the people in anyway?

            1. Where are the ones who have been denied entry to Europe or the US ? Is there a camp somewhere the rejects are held ?

              I would suppose the proof is in the enormous numbers being let in and no mention of where the rejects go.

    3. I expect that any information coming from the corrupt and chaotic MENA region is suspect from the start, so yes, many bad actors will get in.

    4. Yes, that is how it is going to work. The presumption is to let them in. As an asylum seeker, you have to prove you have a legitimate fear of your life. Once you do that, it is on the government to show that you are a criminal or a terrorist or somehow otherwise disqualified. Think about it, you can’t except the asylum seeker to prove a negative, prove they are not a criminal. You can only ask them to prove they have a legitimate claim for asylum. Then it is up to the government to provide some reason why they shouldn’t get asylum.

      1. I don’t want to “think about it.” I’m not trying to guess how it works; I don’t have your intuition. I’d like evidence that this is how the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, Homeland Security, and the State Department conduct the security checks.

        And my complaint is all this talk about how these refugees won’t really be Syrian refugees. Why am I to think that, if the applicant can’t prove that they are from Syria, the feds will just shrug and wave them through anyway? Something something Obummer?

        1. Yeah, it is pretty clear you don’t want to think about it. And I am not guessing how the system works. I know how it works. And it is not on the Asylum seeker to do anything but swear they are not a criminal. They don’t have to provide proof of anything other than that they have a legitimate claim for Asylum. Once the Asylum officers rules that they do, they get in unless the background check reveals some reason why they shouldn’t. If the background check comes back “we have no fucking idea”, the person gets Asylum.

          And my complaint is all this talk about how these refugees won’t really be Syrian refugees. Why am I to think that, if the applicant can’t prove that they are from Syria, the feds will just shrug and wave them through anyway?

          Remember a couple of things. First, these are not legal proceedings. Some bureaucrat from CIS determines if you get Asylum. Second, once the person gets it, that is it. There is no second level of review. Third, CIS works for Obama.

          You tell me. What makes you think the people at CIS, whose bosses have told them to let these people in and who are in many cases ideologues who believe in letting everyone in in the first place, are going to insist on any level of proof for these people’s claims? Since when did you start thinking the government was all efficient and trustworthy?

          1. How does a person prove he is not a criminal?

            1. He can’t Zeb. That was my original point. The person says they are not and unless a records check shows otherwise, they get in. When someone comes from a place where such a check is impossible, they are getting in and there is no way to tell if they are actually dangerous.

              1. Unless you are going to completely close the borders, there is always some risk that someone with ill intent gets in. A well funded, determined group of terrorists will make something happen if they really want to. How many potential terrorists would even have a criminal record at all? I’m sure there are plenty of people willing to do terrible things who have stayed clear of the law so far.

                As you well know, I am a principled open immigration sort of person. I don’t think we are obliged to go out of our way to take in refugees, though, at least if private people aren’t willing to sponsor and pay for them.

                1. Well shit, since something bad might happen no mater what, let’s have no precautions or limits at all! Problem solved!

          2. Still no sources, just your word, which we all know is gold.

            From that Vox report that Dalmia linked to (you made me go to Vox you son of a bitch!):

            Syrian refugees have to prove a negative: that they have never had any involvement with any group the US would consider terrorists. For men who have served with one rebel group or another during the war, that can often be impossible; if a man left a rebel group when it affiliated with al-Qaeda, he has no way to prove that he wasn’t an al-Qaeda affiliate himself. Families that have had no involvement with any groups, meanwhile, face the difficult task of proving the absence of any involvement. And this is compounded by the administrative problems in processing Syrian refugees: Different databases may transliterate Arabic names differently, making them hard to cross-check; some names may sound alike and lead to confusion of identity.

            Maybe she’s wrong. It is Vox. I still give her account more weight than I do yours.

  10. Forget immigration for a moment, is the refugee system libertarian at all?

    1. Are nation-states?

      1. No. Also, yes.

        Nation states that provide benefits for foreigners looks beyond the bureaucratic nightmare that is the night-watchman state though.

        1. What about nation states that look for foreigners to deport them?

          1. They exist?

            What is your question?

            1. Do they look beyond the bureaucratic nightmare that is the night-watchman state though?

              1. “Do they look beyond the bureaucratic nightmare that is the night-watchman state though?”

                I’d say yes, but actual libertarians seem to be split on the matter though. (It’s irrelevant to the specific topic of refugees though)

    2. Well, the US did CAUSE the situation.

      1. Yeah, the Syrians are just children. They have nothing to do with the state of their own country. The US is the cause of the civil war there.

          1. But there is no such thing as blowback.

            1. No there isn’t. there are just people who have their own reasons for doing things. That is why Paris gets attacked even though France didn’t support the Iraq war and hasn’t been to war in the Middle East since the 1960s.

              At some point you will grow up and realize that rest of the world doesn’t give a fuck what you think or do and has their own reasons for doing what they do. America isn’t the God like all controlling power your grade school teachers told you it was.

              1. ISIS attacked Paris to enflame the French equivalent of Yokels against the peaceful Muslims living in France, thus driving them to side with ISIS.

                Terror 101. But I guess you must have missed that part of your PME.

                1. ISIS attacked Paris to enflame the French equivalent of Yokels against the peaceful Muslims living in France, thus driving them to side with ISIS.

                  I would laugh but you actually believe that. You are the dumbest person I have ever met in my life. ISIS attacked Paris because they want to take over Europe and kill anyone who isn’t their brand of Muslim.

                  1. ISIS attacked Paris because they want to take over Europe and kill anyone who isn’t their brand of Muslim.

                    Let’s say that’s true, John. How would they accomplish such a feat? Think they might need to recruit some help? Maybe Muslims who are already there?

                    And you one of their biggest recruiting tools. (and I mean “tool” on several levels)

                    I may not be the smartest person here, John, but at least I’m not you.

                    1. “Let’s say this is true, John.”
                      Google it mother fucker. They are saying they want us off the face of the Earth.
                      Wake up. This is not a nightmare. There are un-REASONable people in the world that do not want you or me around.

              2. France “hasn’t been to war in the Middle East since the 1960s”

                Not true. France has been involved in some very recent attacks on ISIS. They have explicitly said this is their reason for Paris attacks. This is pure blowback.

                1. Then how do you explain the ISIS plot to attack Norway that was recently foiled? I don’t recall the Norwegians doing anything good, bad or indifferent in the ME. It’s almost as if … wait for it … the jihadists weren’t joking when they say their goal is to replace all European churches with mosques within the next two generations.

          2. That is complete horseshit. Moreover, even if there was not an ISIS there would still have been a Syrian civil war and probably a Iraqi civil war that was just as bad or worse after Saddam finally met his end.

            You have to be Cytoxic level delusional to think that none of this would have ever happened if only the US had left that pillar of peace and stability Saddam Huissain in power.

            1. ISIS is filling a power vacuum we created.

              Sure, you can imagine a world where American refusal to invade Iraq led to a worse refugee crisis was created by a worse power vacuum being filled by a worse terrorist group. But you have to imagine it.

              Back here in the real world, ISIS exists because of our invasion of Iraq. Our endless military interventions in that region directly led to its creation and success. That’s not delusion; that is simple, objective reality.

              1. ISIS is filling a power vacuum we created.

                We invaded Syria? And what makes you think Saddam, whose regime was in terrible shape would have been any better at stopping ISIS than the existing Iraqi government was.

                And maybe you missed this but ISIS arose NINE YEARS AFTER WE INVADED IRAQ IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY. Jesus fucking Christ is there anything you won’t link to the invasion of Iraq? You people are incapable of thinking rationally about this subject. None of you fought in the war but all of you seem to have been emotionally intellectually damaged by it such that you can’t think straight about it.

                1. ISIS arose NINE YEARS AFTER WE INVADED IRAQ IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY

                  Are you serious?

                  ISIS is Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

                  According to a study compiled by United States intelligence agencies in early 2007, the ISI?also known as AQI?planned to seize power in the central and western areas of Iraq and turn it into a Sunni caliphate.[83] The group built in strength and at its height enjoyed a significant presence in the Iraqi governorates of Al Anbar, Diyala and Baghdad, claiming Baqubah as a capital city.[84][85][86][87]…

                  1. Frank,

                    They should have never taught you to read. You understand just enough to be dangerous. Al Quada in Iraq pretty much ceased to exist. That a few people who survived moved on to Syria and got new recruits and combined with people who were already there doesn’t mean it is the same organization. Our invasion of Iraq did not cause the Syrian civil war. Without the Syrian Civil War, there would be no ISIS. And if we had never invaded Iraq, there still would have been a Syrian civil war and likely an Iraqi civil war before that. So we would still have ISIS or something just like it.

                    You need to stop reading Frank. It just makes things worse.

                    1. Just to toss in my two cents here, it’s a little disingenuous to say that ISIS arose “in a different country.”

                      In reality, the Syrian desert belongs to no one other than the Bedouin who live there, and that’s where ISIS arose. It borders Iraq on one side, Syria on another.

                      The self-proclaimed Caliph did name himself “al-Baghdadi”, after all, not “al-Damasci.”

                    2. ISIS was certainly helped by former elements of AQI—a good chunk of their leaders were former inmates of the prison at Camp Bucca —but it’s silly to state that it’s a creation of the U.S.

                      If you want to blame anyone, blame the al-Maliki government that both told the U.S. to get the hell out of Iraq (thereby removing the one group that could have strangled the Iraqi portion of ISIS in its crib), and also cracked down on Iraqi Sunnis to the extent they started to join ISIS and defect from the Iraqi Army.

                      I hadn’t thought before about the Saddam Hussein being dead by now from natural causes angle, and how Iraq probably, like Yugoslavia post-Tito, would’ve folded up in a similar manner whether the U.S. invaded or not. Of course, without a U.S. invasion, all of Iraq’s military toys would have been available for ISIS (and Iran) to loot.

                    3. For the love of Christ, did you even read the citation? ISIS was born out of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which, by and large, didn’t exist until we invaded.

                      Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), also called al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, militant Sunni network, active in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, comprising Iraqi and foreign fighters opposed to the U.S. occupation and the Sh??ite-dominated Iraqi government.

                      Syrian Civil War
                      In March 2011, protests began in Syria against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. In the following months, violence between demonstrators and security forces led to a gradual militarisation of the conflict.[106] In August, al-Baghdadi began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI members experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organisation there. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad al-Julani, this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country.[107][108] In January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl as-Sham?Jabhat al-Nusra?more commonly known as al-Nusra Front. Al-Nusra grew rapidly into a capable fighting force, with popular support among Syrians opposed to the Assad government.[107]

                      NO IRAQ WAR=NO ISIS

                      Christ, you are a fucking gasbag.

                    4. ISIS used to be al-Qaeda in Iraq

                      The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. To really understand the group, the first thing you need to know about it is that it used to have a different name: al-Qaeda in Iraq.

                      As Islamic State of Iraq, 2006?13
                      Main article: Islamic State of Iraq
                      According to a study compiled by United States intelligence agencies in early 2007, the ISI?also known as AQI

                2. Uh, John, ISIS started out in Iraq and was founded by insurgents fighting the US troops there. It is still largely based in Iraq, which is — as you’re apparently unaware — next to Syria.

                  Honestly, read a book sometime.

                  1. AIUI, one of his points, Francisco, is that even if the U.S. hadn’t invaded, Saddam’d likely be dead now anyway from natural causes. Neither of his even more vile sons would be likely to have had the brains to hang onto power, so Iraq would’ve disintegrated anyway. Only this time, it would have disintegrated with all of the ordnance (including chemical weapons) that weren’t destroyed during the U.S. invasion/occupation.

                    Assuming that a Shia leader would’ve won said disintegration—which I think would be the way to bet, given Iraq is about 60-30-10 Shia-Sunni-Kurd—and that the Shia leader would have acted as ham-handed as al-Maliki, everything probably turns out the same as far as ISIS’s formation is concerned.

                    It’s an interesting theory, anyway.

                    1. Pick up something besides Vox, once in a while. This Sept 2014 article from the Hudson Institute, isn’t a bad one on the origins of ISIS. It still, IMHO, goes way too much on the “self-supported by oil, extortion, antiquities, and kidnapping” as if you can get to 2 billion dollars in cash by hustling merchants in Raqqa for 20 bucks a week, or by moving a billion dollars worth of oil in tanker trucks, but it’s one of the more concise origin articles I’ve read recently.

                      The biggest problem I see with ISIS, as an American citizen, is that ISIS has shown a willingness to increase the atrocity and provocation level, with an aim towards getting U.S. troops back into that area. As to why they’d want to, the articles I’ve read indicate that their goal is to commit Muslims to their cause, and increased US military involvement aids that somehow. Cynically, I think their paymasters also prefer increased US involvement if it means less Iranian involvement.

                      Anyway,execution videos haven’t been able to do it yet, and Obama’s latest speech indicates that killing French civilians won’t either. The next step, I fear, is performing Paris (or Mumbai or Kabul-style, if you prefer) attacks in CONUS. Easier said than done, but that’d be a provocation the U.S. couldn’t ignore.

                    2. Pick up something besides Vox, once in a while.

                      You mean like this?

                    3. This?

                      The group began in 2004 as al Qaeda in Iraq, before rebranding as ISIS two years later. It was an ally of — and had similarities with — Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda…

                    4. BBC okay?

                      What are its origins?

                      IS can trace its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian. In 2004, a year after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and formed al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which became a major force in the insurgency.

                      After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, AQI created an umbrella organisation, Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). ISI was steadily weakened by the US troop surge and the creation of Sahwa (Awakening) councils by Sunni Arab tribesmen who rejected its brutality.

                      Baghdadi, a former US detainee, became leader in 2010 and began rebuilding ISI’s capabilities. By 2013, it was once again carrying out dozens of attacks a month in Iraq.

                      It had also joined the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, setting up the al-Nusra Front.

                    5. ABC citing the State Department?

                      Where Did ISIS Come From?

                      While extremist groups are generally amorphous organizations, ISIS can trace its history directly back to the Sunni terrorist organization al Qaeda, specifically the Iraq faction, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was responsible for scores of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq following the U.S. invasion there. After al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006 by an American airstrike, leadership of the group eventually fell to an experienced Iraqi fighter, Abu Du’a, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had once been in U.S. custody in Iraq.

                      AQI was weakened in Iraq in 2007 as a result of what is known as the Sunni Awakening, when a large alliance of Iraqi Sunni tribes, supported by the U.S., fought against the jihadist group. AQI saw an opportunity to regain its power and expand its ranks in the Syrian conflict that started in 2011, moving into Syria from Iraq. By 2013, al-Baghdadi had spread his group’s influence back into Iraq and changed the group’s name to ISIS, “reflecting its greater regional ambitions,” according to the U.S. State Department.

              2. No, ISIS exists because Obama wouldn’t leave 5-10k troops garrisoned in Iraq to back up their brand new military. Had we done so, ISIS would have been crushed. If it had ever even gotten started i the first place.

      2. The US gets refugees from all over, surely they didn’t cause everything! Oh… well, maybe…

        Should more US troops be deployed everywhere too, you know, to fix the messes?

        Two wrongs don’t make a right – or a libertarian.

  11. I’m just wondering if the editors will take the time to stop preening over their moral superiority that this refugee crisis is a direct result of a non-intervention policy that they’ve espoused. Doing nothing is a choice and that choice has consequences, which we are witnessing right now.

    1. Let’s go to the studio audience!

      Is this brilliantly stupid or stupidly brilliant?

      1. No, it’s just fucking dumb.

      2. It’s a fair point. A lot of these refugees may have been killed by now if there were a larger scale war.

        1. Ah, it makes sense now.

    2. so you’re saying we should arm the refugees?

    3. ISIS not only gained momentum and weapons as a result of the power vaccuum left by American soldiers departing Iraq, it also turns the ongoing US bombings into propaganda to recruit new fighters.

    4. Doing nothing…like arming the good rebels in Syria, smart power at its best?

  12. I am glad Reason is finally covering the refugee crisis.

    1. yeah It’s about time Tom Petty got his due.

      1. If Tom Petty was a woman, would he be more attractive than Steven Tyler if he was a woman?

        1. Your logic is faulty, since we have seen what “female Steven Tyler” sort of looks like, and she’s extremely attractive.

          Basically I just wanted to say Liv Tyler is hot. Sue me.

          1. According to your logic, “hot” Liv Tyler is going to soon turn into this.

            1. I wasn’t using logic.

        2. It’s difficult to answer that question, are we just assuming a straight up swap on plumbing? Now or are they in their respective primes?

    2. Give ’em a break. They’ve been busy calling people with an aversion to being shot or blown up nativists, xenophobes and raaaaacists.

      1. Your odds of dying in a terrorist attack are smaller than your odds of dying in a mass shooting perpetrated by a locally-grown nutcake. And your odds of dying that way are vanishingly minuscule as it is.

  13. The shorter version answer is “depends on what the Supreme Court feels like”. Under the Constitution, the states have the right and power to deny entry to non-citizens.

    1. Truax vs Raich a few posts down made it sound like states can’t deny access once the Feds let you into the country.

      1. I don’t see how they could. You have a right to free travel. Once a person is in the country legally, the states can’t deny them that right. They can’t deny any other class of people entry. How could they deny these people?

        1. The Constitution only forbids states from restricting the movement of citizens. The SCOTUS extended that right to non-citizens by fiat.

          1. Where does it say that? The “privileges and immunities” part?

            Even if non-citizens don’t have the right to move freely, how can you enforce that without putting border controls in place which would restrict the freedom of movement of citizens?

            1. The US government has border checkpoints despite the fact that US citizens have the right to enter or leave the country at will. Any government power naturally imposes some burden on the population.

              1. And that makes state border checkpoints OK constitutionally?

  14. It’s funny how the left seems to forget all about the precautionary principle as soon as they aren’t talking about global warming anymore.

    1. Approximately as funny as how quickly the H&R commentariat forgets it thinks the precautionary principle is retarded.

      1. Really? You never engage in any precautions against risk? Never ever? Not even wearing a seat belt?

        The pre cautionary principle like all principles is fine up to a point. Where that point is is of course the entire question.

        1. You never engage in any precautions against risk? Never ever? Not even wearing a seat belt?

          That has nothing to do with the precautionary principle.

          1. Yes it does. The precautionary principle is that you are better off doing something and preventing a risk than doing nothing and taking the risk. Should I wear a seat belt today? I don’t know I will be in an accident and chances are I won’t need it. I wear it just in case.

            You just think the precautionary principle is always retarded because you think it somehow only applies in situations where you object to the precaution. Ah no, the same principle applies in any case where you act to mitigate a risk.

      2. I don’t think it’s “retarded” in regards to global warming. I think it’s more the people who think global warming is a hoax who think that.

        I”m somebody that thinks global warming is a real problem–just that the solutions should all be capitalist and voluntary.

        That being said, come the Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, we may see Obama make statements both predicated on and dismissive of the precautionary principle–in the same breath.

        Precautionary Principle + Global Warming = Treaty

        Precautionary Principle + Syrian Refugees = You’re a Stupid Redneck

        Of course, the first principle that comes to mind with Obama is the Peter Principle.

      3. You don’t need to reach the precautionary principle. Simple cost-benefit analysis is enough. Admitting them has a cost and gains us nothing.

  15. It is one thing to say that someone who walks over the border from Mexico and gets a job and starts paying taxes should not be deported. It is quite another thing to say the taxpayers have some kind of a duty to fly people from Syria into the country and pay for a two year process of background checks and resettlement. Even if you think they should be allowed in, how in God’s name can Reason endorse people being forced to pay for it happening?

    Is Reason being run by an nativist mole who was sent there to completely discredit the open borders position? If it were, it would certainly be dying on this idiotic hill

    1. “how in God’s name can Reason endorse people being forced to pay for it happening?”

      I’m guessing we’re never going to see where Reason does this?

      1. They’re refugees! Do think they have any money jackass? How are they going to pay for housing, food, medicine, etc? Who do you think pays for it?

      2. Um, Cyto, maybe you should actually read Reason’s articles instead of just commenting on them? Scroll up. See that extensive description of US government agencies and personnel involved in vetting refugees? Hint: they are paid employees, not free volunteers.

        So yes, it is a simple fact that US taxpayers have to pay for this crap, even though most of us don’t want it.

    2. It’s one thing to say that taxpayers have to pay to transport, house, and feed these refugees. Quite another to ay we have to bring the here to the United States.

      Why can’t we pay to resettle them somewhere else?

      1. How about we not pay for anything? Since when are these people our problem? I am sorry Syria sucks but sometimes life is like that. We have plenty of problems here and I can’t see how you can possibly justify stealing American’s money to help people in Syria. If you want to pay to resettle these people Ken, have fun. Just use your own money not mine.

      2. Again, Qatar is spending somewhere north of 100 billion USD to build shit for the 2022 World Cup. I’ve read it’s closer to 200 billion, but w/e. Why in the hell aren’t they paying for refugee resettlement? I mean, I know why: Jordan’s experience with Palestinian refugees in the last 60s/early 70s probably sticks in memories of Arab decision makers—but the fact remains that Qatar is spending 15-30 times what it’d cost to clothe and shelter ALL of the refugees, to put on a sporting event.

        Breitbart came out with the figure that each one of these refugees is going to cost at least 65 thousand dollars to fly over, feed, settle, and clothe. This assumes that they’ll get jobs after six months and be net taxpayers. Looking at the Somali experience in Minneapolis/St. Paul, I think that’s a really optimistic projection, but still. 65 grand times what, 100,000 refugees that Obama’d like the U.S. to take in?

        I guess this is just more tax money that the Government was going to spend anyway, so why should we care?

    3. This is a reasonable point. Whether we ought to be actively helping refugees is an entirely separate question from the libertarian freedom of movement and association position on immigration.

      But I don’t think this article is arguing that we are obliged to take in some number of Syrian refugees. It is simply pointing out why it is not such a big deal as some make it out to be.

      1. But I don’t think this article is arguing that we are obliged to take in some number of Syrian refugees

        How is it not Zeb? If the author doesn’t think we should be taking in refugees, why does he feel so compelled to point out what he feels are the fallacies of those who object? And more importantly, if the author doesn’t think the US if obligated to take them, why the doesn’t he say so?

        Sorry Zeb, but the author is either an idiot who doesn’t understand the implications of his points or he clearly supports the US taking the refugees.

        1. Who cares what the author thinks? The article doesn’t make that argument. It is an analysis of the situation, not activism or advocacy. Why do you insist that an author is always obliged to make his own views on a story clear in every case? Can’t he just write an article about how people freaking out over this is irrational given the history of refugees in the US? Maybe he is wrong. Maybe these people are a new and special danger that Iraqis and Somalians weren’t. That’s what the argument should be about because that is the point he is making.

          1. Who cares what the author thinks?

            His readers?

            It is an analysis of the situation, not activism or advocacy.

            Did you read it? How can possibly say it is not advocacy? The entire article is one long diatribe about how the people objecting to admitting the refugees are all wrong. And you don’t think it is advocating the position that they should be admitted? Why do you feel so compelled to defend and obfuscate for the idiotic opinions of the Reason staff. Reason has published like ten articles today all about how the US should take in these refugees. Yet you are saying “hey they are nto advocating anything”. Stop it Zeb.

            Can’t he just write an article about how people freaking out over this is irrational given the history of refugees in the US?

            I don’t even know what the fuck to say to that. Do you actually expect me to believe that this article isn’t supposed to make the case for accepting the refugees? You don’t think that. Why do you think I am stupid enough to believe it?

            1. I just re-read the article and that is all it says. It provides some context and argues that this batch of refugees isn’t particularly different than other recent refugee groups. Maybe the author does think that we must take in refugees, but it doesn’t say that. He may also think that we shouldn’t have a refugee program at all. I have no idea. Why do you insist on guessing everyone’s motivations and intentions all the time? I am making no judgement one way or another about the opinions of Reason staff or the idiocy thereof.

              I really don’t give one shit what Ed Krayewski’s personal views on refugees are.

  16. Back in the day they checked for diseases, quarantined you if necessary, and stamped you in misspelling names along the way. Now it’s all vett this and vatt that.

    WE’VE LOST OUR INNOCENCE!!

  17. “By comparison, while Somalia topped the failed/fragile state index from 2008 to 2013 (suggesting little infrastructure on the ground that could offer the kinds of datasets that make the FBI’s vetting job easier), the U.S. accepted nearly 30,000 refugees from Somalia in that time. Somalia is home to Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, which has launched multiple attacks in Kenya and called earlier this year for terrorist attacks against malls in the U.S. In fact, in 2013, the U.S. accepted about 34,000 refugees (more than half from Iraq) from countries ranking higher on the failed state index than Syria.”

    In a just world, this would end the debate.

    1. They dumped enough of them into a neighboring city that it’s been nicknamed “Little Somalia.” Other than teenage punks being teenage punks, the predicted crime wave never happened.

      1. Would that be Lewiston?

        1. You becha!

        2. Granted that city was already a shithole, but it hasn’t gotten any worse.

          1. Exactly – it was full of unemployed French Canadians when I went to Bates.

            Heard the river is less colorful and smelly these days.

            1. Unemployed FC in the USA?

              You always learn around here.

              1. Culturally at least – I assume most were American citizens by then. Many had moved down from Quebec to work the mills when they were running strong. Most of the mills were shutting down when I was there. Now they are call-centers or some such crap.

          2. When you make Augusta look kind of nice, you know you’ve really lost.

            1. We don’t call it Disgusta for nothing!

    2. In a just world, this would end the debate

      … because we’re already accepted more than our fair share of refugees?

      1. There is no ‘fair share’. The notion is rank collectivism.

        1. What a hilariously inept reply.

        2. There is no ‘fair share’.

          Glad to hear it. Sound like we have no particular moral obligation to take in any of these folks, then?

          1. Yep, sounds like it.

  18. Let’s try a different approach. America will take in 10,000 refugees, but ISIS has to take 10,000 sociology professors in return.

    1. FINALLY A COMPROMISE ALL CAN SUPPORT!!!!!

    2. Damn, I posted my comment before I saw this.

      Ok, I am back on the other side of the fence. Forget what I say below.

    3. We have a winner!

    4. The best part is that it will ruin ISIS. Soon they’ll be a dysfunctional shell. And still just as hated by everyone else!

    5. I offered 10,000 cops in return

      1. In return? Add them in. 10 Sociology Profs, 10K cops, 10K Community Organizers.

        That is three to one. I don’t see how they can say no.

        1. Oh, and one former Secretary of State.

          1. Whoch one do we pick? I guess it would be racist to select from the Bush II regime, but I see the rest as fair game. Although Powell’s bullshit “Pottery Barn” strategery should earn him a place in the pool. How’s that work Mr. Powell? We’ve stationed military forces in the Phillipines of over a century with a brief Japanese interlude and the Moros continue to wage a low-level conflict. I’m betting Afghanistan could do the same.

    6. Do that many sociology professors even exist? I sure hope not.

      1. Round it out with any self-described “student activist.”

  19. I used to be kinda on the fence about the open borders position but this little kerfuffle has settled it for me.

    Open borders arguments I have heard so far are arguments against it and the people making them seem unaware of that.

    1. No act of terror has been committed by refugees, only by the children of refugees.
    *This means we should have less, not more.

    2. Government initiated and directed mass migration is the same as a free market driven migration.
    *No it isnt. Motives matter, a lot. Also, it isnt the government’s place to look after the interests of everyone in the world. The only thing that should be considered here is the interests of the people of the US.

    3. Everyone deserves a stab at the good life.
    *I don’t owe anyone shit. W. Munny – “Deservin’s got nuthin’ to do with it.”

    1. 4. Forget Dearborn, Mi, we aren’t europe and no sharia enclaves will form here because we aren’t europe.
      *Everywhere the Muslims go, as soon as their numbers are high enough, they are in constant strife with their neighbors. Until the notion that anyone but a Muslim is an apostate that must be killed is erased it will stay that way.

      5. Shameless appeals to emotion.
      *I won’t even address this except to say to the person making it “Fuck off”.

      I am pretty sure the principle of freedom of movement is being over-extended and doesn’t apply to reality very well in the context of international movement. Each time there are refugees from somewhere we need to carefully evaluate who they are and if it is appropriate to our interests to offer asylum. If the Nork govt falls tomorrow to SK libertarians should we offer asylum to the former NK communist supporters? Probably not. The other way about? Probably so.

      1. “Forget Dearborn, Mi”

        Why wouldn’t we? There’s no Sharia law there and there won’t be anywhere else in NA. Nor are there any Sharia enclaves in Europe. This is an urban myth started by Daniel Pipes in 2006.

        “*Everywhere the Muslims go, as soon as their numbers are high enough, they are in constant strife with their neighbors. ”

        Except in Guyana, Albania, Kazakhstan, and a host of others.

        “I am pretty sure the principle of freedom of movement is being over-extended and doesn’t apply to reality very well in the context of international movement.”

        I am pretty you are talking shit.

        I hope you don’t mind handing over your guns the next time a campus shooting happens. Your grasp of facts and freedom is no better than the gun grabbers’.

        1. Well, to be fair, they did discuss it at the behest of Muslims in Ontario. I seem to recall them explaining Sharia as nothing more than a ‘family court’.

            1. Big fucking dick?

              I’m not familiar with modern abbreviations.

              1. Bum Fuck Ding-a-ling

          1. They tried the exact same shit in Dearborn.

        2. Albania?!?! really? Because when I think of peace and stability I always think of the fucking Balkans first.

          1. Yeah, I am trying not to respond to Cytotoxic. He is unhinged on this issue. He is good on some issues, but this aint one of ’em.

            1. I keep going back and forth on “ignorant dick” vs “performance art” but I think I’m on PA side now. At any rate, Albania has lots of problems, but being Muslim majority is pretty low. On the other hand, Muslims aren’t, contrary to what people here think, represented in majority of Balkan countries, and what few there are are treated with more discrimination than, say, in France.

              Gripping hand is that it’s stupid to treat “Muslim” as a big undiferentiated mass. Balkan Muslims come out of Turkish tradition, and are quite different in their outlook from what Islam has become in the West. Though that may be changing, as Saudi-schooled preachers start making inroads. Friend from Sarajevo told me a hilarious anecdote about that, will save it for PM links.

            2. He’s also just a Canadian. What the US does is none of his fucking concern. Which makes him a Concern Troll, right?

          2. Let’s not forget the whole ethnic cleansing kerfuffle in former Yugoslavia, which was mostly Muslims and their enemies trying to set up their own ethnic enclaves. Although I do wonder how incidental the Muslim thing was to this, it was part of the picture.

            And, speaking of sub-Saharan Africa, have we already forgotten that Boko Haram is a Muslim movement?

            1. Once again, as a bystander who was adjacent to the fuckery when it ramped up, no, that was not “mostly Muslims” – first conflict started out in Croatia, between Serbs and Croats, due to their ancient (i.e. since 1929) enmity. Serbs wanted their own autonomous governement, Croats wanted independence, which riled the Serbs because previous Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945) had death camps, mass murder and mass expulsion for them.
              War in Bosnia was along the same lines, except it ended as everone-vs-everyone pile, as Muslims wanted to have independent Bosnia, and Serbia and Croatia looked to carve chunks out of it. So in places Muslims and Croats fought in same army, in other places they had their own armies fighting Serbs together, and yet elsewhere Muslims and Croats fought each other.

              1. I just recall that it was an unholy mess, but that Muslims (and I gather the locals were highly Westernized) were participants in the ethnic cleansing catastrophe.

                1. I just recall that it was an unholy mess, but that Muslims (and I gather the locals were highly Westernized) were participants in the ethnic cleansing catastrophe.

                  They indeed were participating on both sides of the equation. Being militarily weakest, their opportunities were most limited, and, being most numerous, ended up with the largest blood tab. They did have foreign jihadis, who did beheadings and stuff, so few years after the war, they had to round up and shoot some of them.
                  Religion was bandied about all around, but most of the rhetoric justifying the atrocities was secular, based on nationalism and/or claims of survival. Much like 30 Years War, lots of it was just because people could, and was an easy way to take stuff.

            2. “And, speaking of sub-Saharan Africa, have we already forgotten that Boko Haram is a Muslim movement?”

              When they talk about Muslim slave traders raiding African villages for slaves back in the early part of American history, they’re often talking about the caliphate in what is now Northern Nigeria raiding the South.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokoto_Caliphate

              When the British took over, they wisely divided what is now modern Nigeria into the Northern Protectorate (Muslim) and the Southern Protectorate.

              When the British left, they had foolishly combined them into one country.

              Anyway, the history of Northern Muslim domination of what is now the Southern part of Nigeria goes way, way back further than the Sokoto Caliphate, as well.

              These are modern expressions of things that have been going on for hundreds of years. The whole British colonial experience in Africa started as an attempt by abolitionists to stamp out the slave trade–with modern Nigeria being one of the first places on the list.

              If we go in and try to defeat the Muslim North of Nigeria–to stop terrorism and slavery–despite the British having failed to do so? Then we deserve to fail.

              Boko Haram and Sharia rule was the standard in that part of the world for hundreds of years. We’ve just started taking notice of these places since 9/11. But I’m not sure there’s anything new to see there.

      2. You forgot 6. Accuse everyone of “pants shitting”

        Or my favorite from Nikki and a few others that it doesn’t matter if “libertopia” is sustainable, or survives.

        1. To be fair to the ‘pants shitting’ crowd it isnt like homeland security has admitted they can’t vet and that a certain percentage of jihadis will get through and we are just playing a percentage game, or that they will shoot up anything like those TEA party nuts did in Paris.

  20. Can someone confirm if I’ve got this summary right?

    Side 1: people have the right to go where they please and you have no right to stop them. Also, the government is already taking your money so shut up about what they spend it on.

    Side 2: the government, whom I despise, should be lined up on the borders stopping people from entering my country. Also, my government, whom I despise, should be sending soldiers to the faraway lands where these people are coming from to turn off the spigot.

    1. I’m willing to throw my money away on a third side!

      1. Nobody needs more than two sides.

        1. I’ll take the biscuit and the collard greens.

          1. You’ll take hardtack and beans and you’ll like it you dirty anarchist.

    2. side 3: invite all the terrorists over and bomb them remotely from my secret lair in Canada

      1. See above.

      2. With poutine?

      3. Are you admitting to being Cytotoxic’s sock?

        1. *shifty eyes*

    3. A bit oversimplified Sparky. I am a strong believer in freedom of movement…inside the country. The principle doesn’t apply very well to international movement.

      I despise this government not because it has no role, but because it does too many things outside of its proper role and fails miserably at its proper role. I want it to stop doing the things it shouldn’t be doing and do the things it should. Defending the nation is a proper role for the government.

      As for sending soldiers overseas, this is proper when defending the nation. I am not convinced that this has happened since 1945.

      1. Your attempt at nuance sways me not at all. Simplify or GTFO.

        1. Don’t you mean ‘oversimplify’?

          That seems pretty straight forward to me. I will give it a shot: Defending the nation is a proper role for government. Only let good people in and then leave them alone.

          Hows that?

          1. I’ll accept it if you make these changes:

            Defending the nation is the only proper role of government. Only let in good people that I don’t have to support and then leave them alone.

            1. Nobody claims it’s the only role

              The claim is it’s A proper role and he explicitly makes it clear govt has more than one role – while saying govt has taken on plenty of roles it should not

              How unsurprising! You misrepresent the claim

      2. I agree and I. Don’t buy the ‘no true libertarian Opposes open borders nonsense’

        Call it ‘closed system’ libertarianism

        Setting aside that open borders conflicts with the protective role of govt and that given our non libertarian penchant to give away metric asskoads of entitlements means that open borders = more govt expenditures on entitlements (Money on border protection IS a legitimate expense/govt role otoh) …

        Selective immigration (vs open borders) means a right to travel within our borders and a right to leave

        Libertarian govt has no duty to nonamericans to ignore our sovereignty and allow them access. That is a privilege , not a right

        I respect open borders advocates
        I just don’t respect the claim that not having open borders is inconsistent with libertarianism

  21. OT: Not sure if this has been posted or previously discussed.

    http://www.dw.com/en/us-teenag…..a-18680144

    1. He had 4000 followers?

    2. In June this year, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to using Twitter and his blog to explain how to use the online currency Bitcoin to send funds for “Islamic State” militants.

      Posting Bitcoin instructions is material support for terrorism? I find that troubling.

      According to state lawyers, Amin also helped 19-year-old Reza Niknejad, also a resident of Virginia, to travel to Syria to join the IS.

      I’m going to assume he raised money to pay for the IS recruit’s airfare. Which strikes me as direct material support.

      1. Your first objection misrepresents the offense

        He was not convicted MERELY for giving Bitcoin instructions

    3. See? He was not a refugee.

  22. Here’s what I would offer up:

    Once it is confirmed that the applicant is in fact a Syrian refugee, they can come in under that status provided they either have a job or a sponsor willing to take full financial responsibility for them.

    1. Like pre-1965 style? Works for me.

    2. If we put them on treadmills and kept them on a GMO free diet, they could become an excellent source of green, carbon free energy.

      1. put them on treadmills and kept them on a GMO free diet

        The methane output from that would far surpass the carbon footprint.

        1. It’s carbon neutral. Like using biodiesel.

  23. Question: since a large portion of people coming here from Mexico are doing so to escape violence (caused by prohibition), should not at least some portion of that population count as refugees? Not that it matters.

    1. The definition of “refugee” is that you are subject to some form of persecution back home because of race religion or nationality. Other than the Syrian Christians, it is hardly clear any of these people meet the legal definition of refugee necessary for obtaining asylum. Of course, that is just me assuming the actual law means anything.

      1. As per my long comment above I have no problem with Syrian Christians being offered asylum. I wonder how many will be among those brought over. I bet I can guess.

        1. Haven’t they already mostly immigrated?

          1. Probably.

      2. Given how pourous our borders are, I’m not sure it Matters all that much from a threat scenario. Not sure why it is some moral imperative that we be the ones that have to take them though. Seems like an additional 10,000 could pretty easily be absorbed by the surrounding middle east states who could certainly afford them. Or is it just to make a point now.

        1. The reason why the Mexicans running from the drug gangs are not “refugees” is because you have to make some kind of claim of persecution not just “the local thug wants to kill me” or “where I live sucks”. It is in practice a very arbitrary definition.

          1. I guess my point was that it’s not like we don’t already take in a shitload of the 3rd world’s illiterate and destitute. Why is this 10,000 so important?

            1. Because they are coming from Syria, there is no way to vette them and ISIS has said they plan to attack us. If the FARC or the Mexican drug gangs start making the threats ISIS is making, we need to think about the stream of people from Central America too.

              1. I was asking why it was so important to accept them?

              2. And since it could really end up hurting the US, Obama has a boner for it.

            2. Because it won’t stop at 10,000.

        2. AJB, these ‘refugees’ aren’t coming from Syria. They are mostly coming from Turkey where they already have safety and asylum.

          1. I’m just wondering why they can’t go to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, etc. I’m not really worried about them but enough Americans are that I don’t see why it has to be some big deal to say no?

      3. The definition of “refugee” is that you are subject to some form of persecution back home because of race religion or nationality.

        Isn’t that the standard for political assylum? I thought refugees were just people displaced by war or some horrible disaster?

        1. Yes it is the standard for getting political asylum. And under US law only those illegible for such are considered “refugees”. Running from a war is not on its own grounds for admission to the US.

  24. I will vet them. Send me their pics. I will reply “Would” which means they can come or “Pass” which means they cannot. To expedite, do not bother sending any dude pics cause their all going to be denied.

    1. Or any fatty uggos.

  25. The Russian intelligence told the FBI that the Boston bombers were nutcases and to not let them in the country. Yet, the feds let them in. So the same government who isn’t competent enough to keep someone out after their own government says “hey this guy is a nut don’t let him in” is going to make sure that none of these 10,000 or 100,000 people is any kind of a threat. They are just going to let the good ones in.

    The people in Washington and New York, where ISIS is most likely to attack, have to bet their lives on the Feds doing their jobs. Ed actually wrote this article with a straight face?

    1. No, he did not. As soon as this subject comes up all the open borders people make this face:

      http://www.dangerouscreation.c…..zyface.jpg

  26. The vetting process on our side is moot point, because the database on their side is probably either sketchy or nonexistent. The middle class economic migrants that make up the bulk of their rank often pay smugglers to get fake passports.

    If we’re taking them in, we might as well spend a ton of money and put them in some decent places to live in. Some refugee settlements in Europe are worse than trailer parks. Thousands of them live in tents, eating crappy food, and stand in long lines to use bathrooms and other accommodation.

    And we can’t treat these massive, simultaneous influx of migrants like some refugees we took in 2004, before the Arab Spring and the advent of ISIS. ISIS has already claimed that they have members within the refugees. “But they just want to bait out Islamophobic response”. Maybe, but on the other hand, it would be highly plausible way to bypass the usual immigration screening and infiltrate a target nation.

  27. “If we’re taking them in, we might as well spend a ton of money and put them in some decent places to live in.”

    This would only make a larger version of the “Palestinian” “refugee” “camps”, which have not worked out well at all.

    1. I am sure Gaza will
      Accept them

      :l

    2. White House?

  28. Just for the record, the ‘you can’t prove a negative’ claim is one of the most misunderstood in analytical reasoning

    It is right up there with ‘begs the question’ which I estimate is used incorrectly at least 3/4 of the time in common usage

    People over apply the ‘you can’t prove a negative ‘ thing and trot it out like it ends a discussion in many circ’s where it doesn’t even apply

    There are not 10000 quarters in this standard sized 12 oz soda can

    That can be proved . Yet it’s a negative

    The easiest negatives to prove are impossibilities

    The above would fall into that category

    Based on the size of the space in a 12 oz soda can and the size of quarters, the statement can NEVER be true. Thus, it is always a provable negative in any instance

    Again, this is just one. Kind of negative you can prove

    There are several others

    This pedantic moment brought to you by … Me

    Hth

    1. Your example is a poor one, since the statement itself (properly worded) is self-evidently false: “803 goes into 355,000 at least 10000 times”.

  29. “Fears are overblown.”

    No they aren’t.

    And most “refugees” (they aren’t refugees) aren’t even from Syria anyway. They’re young males from all over the Middle East.

  30. Im making over $9k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,

    ———- http://www.onlinejobs100.com

  31. We absolutely have an obligation to take in these poor refugees; we can so we must. We are further obligated to domicile them in a place that is the least disruptive to them, particularly the climate to which they are accustomed and for which they have appropriate clothing. Therefore the Southern and Western states are ideal.

    Warmest Regards,
    Steve in Massachusetts

  32. Fear of the welfare state can never be overblown.

  33. So, you will personally compensate the family of anyone killed by a “Syrian Refugee”?

  34. “After one of the terrorists from the Paris attacks was found to have entered Europe through Greece as a Syrian refugee” it’s taken Reason all day to admit this happened.

    93K dead in the conflict (HuffPO [yeah, I know]) and 4M refugees that means the chance of being killed is 0.2325, how about taking those odds?

  35. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.buzznews99.com

  36. According to reports, it’s now 3 Syrian “refugees” involved in the Paris atrocities. Note that the Tsarnaev family were also Chechen “refugees”. And a lot of those Somalis reportedly have joined ISIS. Are you willing to take these invaders disguised as refugees into your home, or at least your immediate neighborhood? Or do you, like most liberals do, favor allowing them in — into someone else’s neighborhood?

  37. An alternate vetting process might look as follows: Name five people who are citizens who offer to be responsible for your character and behavior and then vet those five people.

    This is the process that charities use when they make loans to people in third world countries. If there are five people who offer to guarantee the loan, social pressure virtually guarantees that the loan will be repaid.

  38. The vetting process includes a “three-day cultural orientation.” Can you imagine how amazingly lame and boring a federal government-created orientation to US culture must be? Wonder if it’s still 1950/1060s “this is the best nation on earth” stuff, or have they gone full PC “We celebrate the rich tapestry of our diversity, don’t worry about learning English and never trust white people”?

  39. Another point about the story that I think most commentators are missing is that most people know very little about what their government is doing, and really only complain when they find out. How many people knew how many refugees that the U.S. has taken in before this, or where they came from? The author’s point is that we’ve already taken in large numbers of refugees from other “risky” countries, and nothing’s happened, so why worry about Syrian refugees? It’s a good point, but not a very persuasive point, obviously. Now who wants the U.S. to be isolationist? What kind of hypocrites want the U.S. to play policeman of the world but refuse to play humanitarian of the world?

  40. How about we take any refugee that arrives via Uber? I feel like that would be the Libertarian thing to do. Uber should look into it, too…there’s apparently a big market for riding the fuck out of Syria right now.

  41. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.buzznews99.com

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