Refugees

Welcome to 'Extreme Vetting' of Refugees

Social media fact-checks, secondary scrutiny for 11 countries, and the lowest annual cap in modern U.S. history.

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Stephen Miller ||| CSPAN
CSPAN

Today marks the end of the Trump administration's 120-day suspension of the U.S. Refugees Admissions Program (USRAP). From now on, the Land of the Free will once again open its doors to those fleeing repression and displacement abroad, but in lower targeted numbers and with higher background-check thresholds than ever before.

The specifics of President Donald Trump's long-promised "extreme vetting" are scheduled to be announced sometime today, but the broad parameters were previewed in this morning's Wall Street Journal:

Under the new rules, the administration will collect more biographical data, such as names of family members and places of employment, officials said. The administration will also do more to mine social media posts to see, for instance, if refugees' public pronouncements are consistent with the stories they offer in their applications, the officials said.

In addition, officials who do the screening at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, will be given new guidance and better training aimed at detecting fraud on the part of applicants, one person said. […]

[O]ne person familiar with the planning said that people from 11 targeted countries will be subject to additional vetting that will slow down the process for them.

||| Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal

The new vetting rules come a month after the administration set the lowest annual cap for refugee admission since presidents began the practice in 1980: 45,000. That number, criticized bitterly by humanitarian aid groups, comes on the heels of the biggest five-year spike in global refugees since 1979-83. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced in June that "the total seeking safety across international borders as refugees [in 2016] topped 22.5 million, the highest number seen since UNHCR was founded in 1950 in the aftermath of the Second World War."

In the just-completed fiscal year, the United States took in 53,716 refugees, down from 84,994 in fiscal 2016. That's the eighth-lowest total since the U.S. began keeping track in 1975. Assuming the same global numbers in 2017 as 2016, and glossing over the meddlesome fiscal/calendar year differences, that means America admitted around 1 for every 320 worldwide refugees. In the middle of the last great refugee crisis, in 1980, we took in a high-water mark of 1 for every 41.

The squeeze on refugees is widely seen as a victory for controversial White House senior advisor Stephen Miller. Yet Miller reportedly advocated for an annual cap as low as 15,000. Either way, the Trump administration has radically reoriented America's refugee program as to render it unrecognizable from the vantage point of presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

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  1. I hear that 75% of Americans support background checks.

    1. Libertarianism is incompatible with ethnocentrism.

      The alt-right recognizes this. That is why all the closet alt-righters are abandoning libertarianism. For myself, I choose to abandon ethnocentrism.

        1. The real alt right, as opposed to everyone the beltway conservatives slanders as being alt-right, might be dummber than the progs. They are certainly every bit as stupid as the progs and buy into the same idiotic assumptions. To give one example, Vox Day, who at least claims to be alt-right, openly advocates for tribalism. He is totally incapable of understanding how tribalism is incompatible with the rule of law or any kind of a functioning modern society. It never dawns on these morons that once you set up your own parallel tribe and society and banish the outsiders, thanks to the concept of comparative advantage, you are going to be really poor and stupid. America became the richest civilization in history because we don’t give a shit about tribes and will trade and do business with anyone. These idiots want to end that and embrace the same kind of collective guilt and tribalism the left embraces. They are just loathsome idiots. Day might be the dumbest person writing on the internet today.

          1. To give one example, Vox Day, who at least claims to be alt-right, openly advocates for tribalism. He is totally incapable of understanding how tribalism is incompatible with the rule of law or any kind of a functioning modern society.

            Oh I think they understand that perfectly. They want to be Negan and the Saviors.

            1. I am not sure what they want. They are just morons.

      1. You are right. The problem is that the alt right buys into the progressive lie that America is an ethnocentric country founded for white people. Both the AltRight and the Progs equally loath this country and lie about its founding. America was founded on a rejection of tribalism and ethnocentrism. It was founded on the basis of popular sovereignty and the right of people to have a say in their government and to enjoy their natural rights as human beings.

        That means the country isn’t ethnocentric. But it also means the country exists for the common good of the people who live here and the people here have a right to determine who does and does not get in. Real American nationalism is not ethnocentric. Anyone can be an American simply by coming here and embracing our values. Your race or religion don’t matter. The alt right and the Progressives both pervert the American ideal into some kind of racist white nationalism. They are both equally scum.

        1. The problem is that the alt right buys into the progressive lie that America is an ethnocentric country founded for white people.

          How many layers of neocon historical revisionism are you on?

          Anyone can be an American simply by coming here and embracing our values.

          How can any half-bright person believe this Erick Erickson-tier bullshit? There’s an actual existing process for becoming an American and precisely none of it involves “embracing our values” [shudder].

          1. For over a century it did. And you can’t understand the difference between the abstract ideal and the legal process for coming here. Come back when you iare able to make intelligent argument. I really don’t have time for buzzwords and ignorance.

            1. And you can’t understand the difference between the abstract ideal and the legal process for coming here.

              I understand the thing that actually exists in the real world and the thing that only exists in political convention speeches.

              Come back when you iare able to make intelligent argument.

              Where to start with someone who doesn’t even understand that the US was founded as a community of English settlers tired of the king?

              1. So what if it was founded by English settlers. It founded on ideals that were universal. Just the people who founded it happened to be English doesn’t mean that the ideals they founded it on were not universal. Moreover, no matter what they thought when they founded the country, the universal nature of the ideals built the country whether they intended it to or not. This country wasn’t founded or built for white people or black people or English people. It was founded by and for human beings. And exists and became what it is on the principle that all human beings have inalienable rights and the purpose of a government is to help ensure the enjoyment of those rights by its citizenship. There is nothing “white” or “racial” about that. Take your idiotic Howard Zinn version of America and go to hell.

                1. This country wasn’t founded or built for white people or black people or English people.

                  Why did the first naturalization law limit it specifically to “free white people.”

                  It was founded by and for human beings.

                  Weird. I thought it was plainly founded for “ourselves and our Posterity.”

                  Take your idiotic Howard Zinn version of America and go to hell.

                  Jaffa and Zinn are apparently the only historians.

                  1. Why did the first naturalization law limit it specifically to “free white people.”

                    Because the South had slavery and there was no way to get rid of it. Eventually, we did and passed the 13th and 14th Amendments to solve that issue. Beyond that, the fact that we haven’t always lived up to our ideals doesn’t mean those ideals don’t exist or that the words in the Constitution don’t mean what they say. It just means we haven’t lived up to our ideals.

                    Honesty, I have read a lot of historians but never read either one of those idiots. That is why I don’t buy into the progressive racialist history you are trying to peddle here. You are doing nothing but giving a set of post facto bullshit rationalizations put forward by the old South after the Civil War to justify their rebellion. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t any truer now, no matter how much the various racialist and tribalists on both sides pretend that it is.

                    1. Beyond that, the fact that we haven’t always lived up to our ideals doesn’t mean those ideals don’t exist or that the words in the Constitution don’t mean what they say. It just means we haven’t lived up to our ideals.

                      Honesty, I have read a lot of historians but never read either one of those idiots.

                      When I accused you of neocon historical revisionism earlier, it wasn’t dormroom buzzwords. The argument you’re making is from Harry Jaffa/ West Coast Straussians.

                      that the words in the Constitution don’t mean what they say.

                      Funny, you just contended that “ourselves and our Posterity” = “human beings.”

                      http://archive.frontpagemag.co…..RTID=24240

              2. Wait, you think the only people that founded America were English settlers, and John is the ignorant one?

                That’s some grade A derp right there.

                1. Wait, you think the only people that founded America were English settlers, and John is the ignorant one?

                  Yes, I think every single person in the US at the time of the founding was English. Clearly. If there was ever a New Amsterdam or some such nonsense then America was founded as a haven for Near East Muslims.

              3. Where to start with someone who doesn’t even understand that the US was founded as a community of English settlers tired of the king?

                Along with French, Swedish, and Dutch

  2. I seem to recall Reason claiming that it was possible to vet refugees well enough to keep the dangerous ones out. Okay, what would that vetting look like if not checking out the person’s social media and other information to make sure they are not lying? Unless Reason was lying when they were praising the virtues of government vetting, they should not have a problem with the vetting process.

    As far as the numbers go, stopping the flow of refugee flow is one of the biggest reasons Trump got elected. He is just keeping a campaign promise here. Reason doesn’t like that. But, they shouldn’t act like this is unexpected or somehow beyond the pale. And they should also understand that after seeing the effects of Merkel accepting a million refugees, the voters in western countries are not going to support accepting large numbers of refugees. Moreover, as we are seeing in Europe and with the election of Trump, they not only won’t support it, they will vote based on the issue. So, the question is do you want to step away from this hill and try and win voters on other issues or do you want to die on this hill and watch the voters turn to some pretty objectionable people because they are the only ones willing to take their side on this.

    1. Someone should tell Trump he doesn’t have to keep all his campaign promises. People will like him better if he stops trying, in fact. Even the ghost of whichever parent gave him his severe mental issues.

      1. He is keeping the important ones. Tony, by all means, help make the Democratic Party the party of Muslim refugees and MS13. Good luck with that.

        1. He is keeping the important worst ones.

          Horton’s Law

          1. The most important ones if he plans to be re-elected. You may look at what is happening in Europe right now and think “hey America, get ya some of that”, but the vast majority of the voting public doesn’t see it that way.

            1. Trump will never be reelected, and it’s highly unlikely he makes it four years. Would you like to put money on the question?

              1. Don’t do it John, Tony is about as likely to pay up as shriek.

                1. Even if he did, it is not ethical to take money from people as stupid as Tony.

      2. Stop conflating him with mental illness. You might as well just call him a jew or something. Criticize his policy instead of uncovering your own bile towards an entire class of people.

        1. Being a leftist, Tony is incapable of rationally defending his position. Since the race card has been maxed out, calling his political enemies crazy is all he has left.

        2. I’m not saying he’s a bad person because he’s mentally ill, just not fit to be president. Is the 25th amendment ablest as well, or are you being somewhat of a precious snowflake right now?

            1. ableist*

              Tony is the best troll.

      3. The fact that you lefties are pissed that Trump is keeping as many of his campaign promises as possible, shows he is on track to do a good job.

        Not only will he set the government largesse back decades, if Trump completes just a portion of his campaign promises but it might start setting a precedent for presidents that do what they promised in the campaign. Lefties cannot have that become the norm.

        1. Not only will he set the government largesse back decades,

          You are delusional.

        2. That’s only gonna happen if he stops banging on the “increase military spending” drum.

    2. Your confidence in a bunch of bureaucrats’ ability to divine whether someone is a terrorist or not is interesting. But we’ve done this before, and it hasn’t worked (see NSEERS). We know that even when people who are actually terrorists are on the government’s radar they fail to put the pieces together (9/11 terrorists, boston bomber, Orlando shooter, Garland shooter). There’s no reason to think it’s going to work this time around, but it is pretty likely they’ll screw with lots of poor people that are just trying to get out war zones.

      1. Nothing in my post exhibited any confidence in beaucrats. Try reading it again.

        1. Who do you think is going to be doing the vetting? Or are you telling me that you’re actually against Trump’s “extreme vetting”?

          1. I know who will. And I never said anything about how effective it was. I pointed out that at one time Reason claimed it would be and now are crying foul when the government is doing exactly what reason claimed it wanted. I was pointing out Reason’s inconsistency on this issue. My post said nothing about the effectiveness of vetting. I agree with you. It doesn’t work. That is why we are smart not to let any of them in.

      2. Your confidence in a bunch of bureaucrats’ ability to divine whether someone is a terrorist or not is interesting. But we’ve done this before, and it hasn’t worked (see NSEERS). We know that even when people who are actually terrorists are on the government’s radar they fail to put the pieces together (9/11 terrorists, boston bomber, Orlando shooter, Garland shooter). There’s no reason to think it’s going to work this time around, but it is pretty likely they’ll screw with lots of poor people that are just trying to get out war zones.

        I’ll ask the harsh question:

        How is that OUR problem?

        The world doesn’t want us to fix their problems. We don’t want to do so, either. So the leave US out of it. Why the hell should we import refugees from thousands of miles away?

        Your reasoning makes my “We take no refugees period” stand more palatable than Reason’s idiotic stand.

        1. If it is “our problem” such that we must let these people in or we are “screwing them”, then why isn’t it our responsibility to intervene with our military and make it all better? Libertarians never answer that question. They love to buy into the idea that the world’s problems are the US’s problems but the US only has a responsibility to let anyone who wants to come here. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. Either the US is responsible for the world or it isn’t. And if it is, then it has a responsibility to do a lot more than just let in the victims of instability. And if it is not, then the US isn’t screwing anyone by not letting them in.

          Libertarians really don’t know what they believe other than that they want their pony.

  3. Stephen Miller’s head looks remarkably penile.

    1. It is amazing how many people with such heads seem to get ahead in government.

      1. It’s like a penile colony up in there.

  4. From now on, the Land of the Free will once again open its doors to those fleeing repression and displacement abroad, but in lower targeted numbers and with higher background-check thresholds than ever before.
    Because these non-Americans have a constitutional right to do so. NOT!

    Let them fight for their own freedom in their home country. Since they won’t, they will come here and probably vote Democrat. Furthering the chipping away at the very freedom document that makes America so great- The Constitution.

    1. Gee, why would oppressed people want to stay under the thumb of the people trying to oppress them? Why should they have an OBLIGATION to stay oppressed instead of trying to flee oppression, like any sane individual would want to do?

      1. Gee, why would oppressed people want to stay under the thumb of the people trying to oppress them?

        I’m sure it sucks.

        It falls under the “not our problem” umbrella.

        There’s lots of bad stuff in the world. We can’t fix it.

        Why should they have an OBLIGATION to stay oppressed instead of trying to flee oppression, like any sane individual would want to do?

        If they’re women and children, its understandable.

        It’s not.

        It’s a lot of young men.

        It is THEIR duty to fix their homes’ problems. It is not OUR job.

        1. So men (but not women, how “chivalrous” of you) have an obligation to remain under the bootheel of oppression in order to “fix” a country that they may no longer feel any sort of obligation or commitment to?

          So Venezuelan men have an obligation to starve to death in their own country as opposed to wanting to leave and not starve?

          “It is THEIR duty to fix their homes’ problems. It is not OUR job.”

          I didn’t say it was “OUR” job to fix “THEIR” homes. But it is not up to any of us to declare what their obligations are to their own homes.

          1. It is if they want to live here.

            1. Are they going to be living on your property?

          2. So men (but not women, how “chivalrous” of you) have an obligation to remain under the bootheel of oppression in order to “fix” a country that they may no longer feel any sort of obligation or commitment to?

            Their obligation to do so DWARFS our obligation to take them in. So, yeah, your home sucks. That seems bad. Go fix it. No, you cannot crash at my place.

            Since we have ZERO obligation to take them in.

            So Venezuelan men have an obligation to starve to death in their own country as opposed to wanting to leave and not starve?

            Or fight to overthrow it. You know, what men have done historically to regimes that oppressed them.

            But it is not up to any of us to declare what their obligations are to their own homes.

            We’re getting demands to take them in.

            Sorry, that is not our concern.

            Fix your own problems.

            You wanted the US to stay out. This is what happens when we stay out. Live and learn, I guess.

  5. What’s the difference between a refugee and an immigrant? In the legal sense, not just conceptually.

    1. A refugee shows a legitimate fear for their life or of oppression if they return home. An immigrant is someone who wants to come here for economic or other reasons not related to fear for their life or oppression.

      1. Do you think this is a legitimate distinction to make? There seem to be two classes of foreign nationals that come here, immigrants and refugees. Is it valid?

        1. I don’t know. That is the distinction the law makes. The US has always been more willing to accept people fleeing oppression than people coming here for economic or personal reasons. Whether the person running for their life has more of a claim to be here than the person coming for a job is very debatable but that is what Congress decided.

          1. Some influential people are still haunted by the spectres of the St. Louis (the Jewish immigrant ship which had to go back to Europe, only to have some of them killed by you-know-who a few years later), and the Evian conference (failed to agree on taking in Jewish refugees – also “naive” spelled backward).

            Pardon the pun, but these are the emotional trumps which keep some from responding to the popular disgust with out-of-control immigration. Any retrenchment or any acknowledgement that there is an immigration-fraud problem or any suggestion that we’re being too reckless letting people in, and many individuals start thinking we’re on the verge of shipping Jews back to you-know-who.

          2. The US has always been more willing to accept people fleeing oppression than people coming here for economic or personal reasons.

            This has never been remotely true. Upthread you’re spouting neocon nonsense that’s a few decades old. AFAICT this bullshit is only a couple years old.

            1. It is true today you half wit. I don’t write immigration law, I just read it

              1. There’s over 1 million immigrants per year.

                In the just-completed fiscal year, the United States took in 53,716 refugees, down from 84,994 in fiscal 2016.

                1. And you get in the country as a refugee by showing up at the border, claiming to be one and having a USCIS agent believe you. There is no easier way to get legal status than by being a refugee.

                  Again, go learn something about this topic and get back to me. Or at least stop taking so much pride in being ignorant about it.

                  1. the total seeking safety across international borders as refugees [in 2016] topped 22.5 million

                    I guess these people would rather live in tent cities than on the dole in the US.

                    1. To claim refugee status, you have to be able to get here. Nearly all of those people are nowhere near the US and have no way to get here. You also have to get a hearing with a USCIS refugee agent and convince them you really are a refugee. Needless to say, not everyone gets those who wants them. This is simple shit. I don’t really understand why you have so much trouble comprehending it.

                    2. Nearly all of those people are nowhere near the US and have no way to get here.

                      Airline tickets are cheap relative to the total cost. If the US wanted these people it wouldn’t be a problem.

                      Your first statement sounded exactly like the nonsense that’s been floating around since the Syrian war, but I see now that your argument is more nuanced.


          3. The US has always been more willing to accept people fleeing oppression than people coming here for economic or personal reasons.

            I don’t know where you get that idea from.

            The US has taken in 100s of 1000s of immigrants annually going back many many decades. e.g. annual arrivals was between 200,000+600,000 between 1950-1990. And has been higher in the 1990s-2000s.

            Refugees, by contrast, are more like Matts WSJ chart; ranging from 50,000 on the low end per year, and the highest-ever being closer to 200,000

            And if you look at opinion-polling on attitudes towards opinion of “refugees” relative to immigrants, the refugees tended to be seen less favorably

            1. – e.g. from above link – disapproval of refugees over different time-periods tended to be 50-70% (lowest being cubans in the 1980s)


              comparable attitudes towards immigrant groups
              varies wildly depending on who they consider the immigrant population to be…. with as few as ~10% objecting to asian or european immigration, with as high as 40% objecting to Latin-American immigration,

              1. **correction: the 40%, highest-objected-to immigrant group was from the middle east.

                latin-america came in second @37%

    2. Refugees are eligible and enrolled for the full “Cadillac plan” of social welfare benefits before they set foot on US soil.


  6. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced in June that “the total seeking safety across international borders as refugees [in 2016] topped 22.5 million

    So are we saying we should take in 22.5 million people this year? What about next year, eh?

    1. And I only ask this because it’s ignored that there are going to be a shit ton of people seeking asylum every year forever and always. Much like how we ignore the birth rates in countries that generate a high number of asylum / immigration requests. Immigration is, simply put, not a ‘solution’.

      Question for open borders types, should we go to war with those countries to fix them so there are fewer refugee’s or immigrants seeking an American life style when there are 22.5 million of them just this year? We could take those nations over and declare them a State in our Union, or at the very least a territory.

      Why is immigration the only tool in their toolbox, one might wonder. It would be supremely ironic if it’s because they are ‘anti-colonial’ or ‘anti-imperialist’ in my view but perhaps someone can make a cogent case.

      Notably I am not ‘for’ those options but I find it curious that it’s assumed that we have an obligation to alleviate people’s ‘suffering’ from those nations while doing nothing about the root causes. I would think if you really cared you would want to help out with the root cause as well as take in tons of refugee’s. It would make the most sense if you’re a utilitarian, at least in my view.

      1. Reason never honestly gives its position. Should we take all 22.5 million? Reason never says that or tries to defend doing so. If not, then how many should we take? Reason never says that either. The only thing reason does do is claim that however many we are taking is not enough. They don’t think very honestly or seriously about these issues.

        1. ‘Reason’ as a publication includes a lot of different viewpoints so that doesn’t particularly surprise me as there is no one consensus view, but they do choose to publish Dalmia. I suppose I should be glad they include dissenting opinions, but it would be nice if those opinions made any sort of sense individually or collectively.

          I would suppose those sorts recognize that nation building and toppling regime’s isn’t great foreign policy, but taking in unlimited numbers of refugee’s or straight up immigrants isn’t a great domestic alternative either.

          If one takes the middle track, it’s a question over the cap number I would guess but as you point out it doesn’t seem like there’s any particular discussion over what a proper cap number would be. I honestly can’t say that I know what an optimal number would be, and I wager no one else can either.

          1. doesn’t seem like there’s any particular discussion over what a proper cap number would be.

            The ‘double world GDP’ argument assumes approximately 1 billion immigrants to the US.

            1. I’m unfamiliar with any argument that involves ‘double world GDP’ so could you elaborate?

              1. https://openborders.info/double-world-gdp/

                It’s the most popular pragmatic argument for open borders made by econ types.

                1. The studies themselves are pretty laughable. They’re literally back of the envelop calculations like “first 300 million = 80% of initial gdp per capita, next 300 million” yada yada.

                  1. Yes, because one thing I know to be a fact is that if you simply pump people into a system they will by definition become productive.

                    That’s one hell of a baseline assumption.

    2. How about: whatever number that private individuals are willing to provide aid for?

      1. How about: whatever number that private individuals are willing to provide aid for?

        And if that individual cannot? Say they die or go broke?

        Do we send them back to their home?

        And would that individual pay ALL of the costs for that “refugee”? Because that is a lot of money.

        How many refugees notably refused to go to countries without generous social welfare? It was a problem for a while.

        1. How about: leave it up to whatever conditions the private refugee and the private individual donor(s) agree to?

          1. Say, for example, we’ll pay you a dollar a day which is a huge amount of money in your home country to come work here but you can’t leave for five years and you can’t terminate employment with us for ten years?

            Oh, wait, this is a modern idea with it’s roots squarely in the 1500-1700’s. Kind of like those new grocery stores that are hip and yet they’re carbon copies of a dry goods store from the late 1800’s.

            Honestly, perhaps this explains the current fad of growing out a huge Civil War era looking beard among lots of hipsters. We’re actually regressing as a nation.

            1. Personally, I am pretty strict when it comes to freedom of contract. If two free people come to an uncoerced agreement to do as you describe, with full knowledge of what the agreement means, I say let them. After all, being exploited in America is probably preferable to being bombed in Syria.

              The point is, let private individuals work out the terms of these agreements. I don’t see why you, or I, or damikesc should get a vote in the matter.

              1. Personally, I am pretty strict when it comes to freedom of contract. If two free people come to an uncoerced agreement to do as you describe, with full knowledge of what the agreement means, I say let them. After all, being exploited in America is probably preferable to being bombed in Syria.

                The point is, let private individuals work out the terms of these agreements. I don’t see why you, or I, or damikesc should get a vote in the matter.

                Can you GUARANTEE you will not die?
                Won’t go broke?
                Won’t have any other catastrophe?

                Why, no — no, you cannot.

                So, again, do we deport them in that case? If not, then I have every right to have as much a vote on this as you.

          2. How about: leave it up to whatever conditions the private refugee and the private individual donor(s) agree to?

            Doesn’t answer my question.

            If the private individual dies or goes broke — then what?

            Do we deport the “refugee”?

            You’re saying “Let an individual and the refugee work it out”. Grand. But individuals can die. They can go broke. You don’t seem to have any plan in place for a not-that-infrequent event.

            1. It is up to the individuals involved to work out problems associated with unforeseen circumstances, JUST LIKE with every other contractual relationship on the planet. Why is this so difficult to understand? Do YOU have a plan in place in case your employer dies tomorrow? No? Well then maybe that gives me the right to veto your employment contract because otherwise we might discover you are mooching on the public dole if your employer dies. Sound fair to you? Maybe we should make sure every contract between everyone is put up for a vote to make sure everyone approves of what everyone else is agreeing to, lest there be unforeseen circumstances. Yeah, nothing bad could come of that!

            2. Moreover, your general reaction to refugee resettlement just stupefies me whenever I see it. Here is someone who is being rescued from war, misery, persecution, oppression, and possible death, and you are utterly TERRIFIED that this person might get food stamps? That’s like being mad at the fire department for saving your neighbor’s house from a raging inferno, because they stomped all over your lawn to do it. Get some perspective here.

  7. …people from 11 targeted countries will be subject to additional vetting that will slow down the process for them.

    But it will make them appreciate their stay in the United States that much more.

  8. If you are going to say the US has a duty to accept large numbers of refugees, then you can’t be surprised when the voters are more willing to support intervention in the countries that are producing the refugees to restore the peace and stop the flow.

    This is a good example of where it is logically possible to hold two positions but practically impossible to hold one without undercutting the other. Accepting refugees means making the American public bear some of the consequences of instability abroad. Doing that necessarily makes the public more disposed to intervene and try and prevent that instability.

    1. If we can figure out a way to stop instability via intervention, yes.

      1. It is always going to be different next time. And once people start feeling the pain of instability, they are going to be much more likely to support doing something about it. You want people to be less interested in intervening in the rest of the world, don’t let the world intervene in their lives so much.

    2. I don’t get Reason’s open borders stance combined with their ideal of total military isolationism.
      It’s like the international equivalent of a giant “kick me” sign. And for the record, I’m definitely against most of the intervention we’ve had and also in favor of expanding legal immigration (if we’re not stupid and/or disingenuous about it….) but I think Reason’s extreme view is hopelessly naive. Like start – a – hippie – commune – with – all – my -unemployed – drug – addict – friends naive

      1. They are also disingenuous. Having a few thousand Somalis who have few if any marketable skills and barely speak English show up in your small town isn’t so great for the people living there. That doesn’t necessarily mean we shouldn’t take in refugees. But, the people who object to doing so are not all just evil racists and have legitimate objections to doing so. Rather than argue the merits of those objections or at least acknowledge them and claim the benefits outweigh the harm, reason has a bad habit of pretending the objections are all illegitimate and there is no rational downside to open borders. I don’t think that helps their cause.

        1. If you would just stop being racist the terrorists would give up their evil ways and we would all hold hands in a flowery meadow dotted with food trucks run by grateful immigrants.

          1. And the only reason anyone becomes a terrorist is because the US government drone striked their wedding and they want revenge.

      2. a – hippie – commune – with – all – my -unemployed – drug – addict – friends

        Not like, Reason is.

  9. So is Matt Welch going to pay for these Refugees?

    Right now the taxpayers are the ones paying for these Refugees, both federal and state/local taxpayers. Refugees by treaty get all taxpayer funded welfare and also pay the so-called charities to handle the Refugees and handle means signing them up for welfare and other benefits.

  10. Now that Donald Trump’s strategy in securing a limited ceasefire in Syria by way of coordination with Putin resulted in all those warring parties concentrating their efforts on defeating ISIS, rather than each other, and that strategy has routed ISIS completely–to the point that they’ve lost their capital and last stronghold, Raqqa–it would be irresponsible of the Trump administration not to give extra scrutiny to alleged refugees from countries where ISIS was once prevalent, since all those defeated ISIS fighters have few places to go and, presumably, would love to come to the U.S. and raise havoc.

    If this extra scrutiny policy is worthy of skepticism because there are now so many refugees in the world, it’s also worthy of legitimate consideration since at this very moment ISIS fighters are fleeing Iraq and Syria like rats from a sinking ship.

  11. The administration will also do more to mine social media posts to see, for instance, if refugees’ public pronouncements are consistent with the stories they offer in their applications, the officials said.

    This is nothing new. The Obama administration supposedly did this– so I guess maybe Trump is checking Twitter AND Snapchat now? I’ll ask the same question I asked when Obama was in office: How many 60 year old Syrian Grandmothers who washed their clothes on a rock have Social Media accounts?

    1. The concern isn’t the grannies. It’s that an AWFUL lot of them are military-aged men.

      And many have ALREADY had significant issues with “fitting in” — you know, with that whole “mass sexual assaults in Germany” thing and all.

  12. this writer, as most writers for REASON are open borders anarchists

    1. matt actually said specifcally in a 5th column podcast not long ago he’s not an “open borders” libertarian, and that he’s not even sure how that kind of ideal would be implemented, even if he were.

      im paraphrasing. i can’t remember exactly which podcast it was.

  13. Those that do not pass the “extreme vetting” will be assigned to live in the neighborhoods of writers at Reason.

  14. Social media fact-checks, secondary scrutiny for 11 countries, and the lowest annual cap in modern U.S. history.

    It’s not a wall with laser turrets, but it’s progress. I’ll take it.

  15. Wait, was I supposed to feel bad about the fact that we’re actually doing more thorough background checks on people coming from war torn countries where large percentages of the population specifically hate our country??? Because I don’t. It’s no different than how it was REASONABLE to do extreme vetting on Germans trying to move to the USA during the 30s. Maybe they don’t like the Nazis, or MAYBE they are a Nazi. Doesn’t hurt to do everything you can to figure out who is who when it is possible.

    Also, we have no obligation to take in anybody period. Most of the people bailing from all these countries are moving for economic advantages, not because they like the ideals of America or even are necessarily in danger of losing their lives. We can’t take in every beggar from the world, or else we’ll end up just as big a shithole as everywhere else. Lifeboat argument and all that. It’s not the 1800s where anybody willing to work can even find a job, let alone people who don’t desire to work in the first place.

    So this article failed to tug at my heart strings, because it’s a bullshit premise to be butt hurt that we’re doing things more reasonably than in the past…

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