From the HSDL, this report which was in the works for the past year: House Committee on Homeland Security: Preliminary Findings on Counterterrorism Challenges of the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
The Diva has not yet read this and would appreciate comments from someone who has.
I concur with Avagene completely. The report certainly calls into question the President’s crack about Republicans being scared of widows and orphans. While I am in favor of expanding immigration quotas, this report waves the “caution” flag about admission of those from the Middle East.
The report is easy to read and I recommend it for anyone interested in the topic – we should all be interested since we taxpayers will pay for anything that is done whether our national security is at risk or not. Much solid background information is given that influenced the findings and recommendations of the report.
After reading the report, I am personally satisfied that vetting of Syrian refugees cannot be done based on what the current administration’s FBI Director James Comey testified in October about the plausibility of safely vetting thousands of Syrian refugees: “We can only query against that [data] which we have collected. So if someone has not made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or intentions reflected in our databases, we can query our databases until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record of that person…You can only query what you have collected.”
Additionally, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach said, “The concern in Syria is that we don’t have the systems in places on the ground to collect the information… All of the data sets, the police, the intel services that normally you would go and seek that information [from], don’t exist.”
On top of these authoritative statements, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official Matthew Emrich disclosed that the government does not have access to any database in Syria that can be used to check the backgrounds of incoming refugees against criminal and terrorist records. Nevertheless, it was revealed that over 90% of Syrian refugee applicants get approved, despite intelligence gaps and absent the ability to thoroughly check for security risks.
EU nations are letting refugees in hastily with little to no vetting (quoting):
• “Each country does what it wants,” explained one senior official in a Balkan country, adding that there is limited information exchanged between governments.
• A “pass-the-buck” mentality permeates the EU region, with a number of transit countries arguing that it is the responsibility of the previous country to do thorough security screening and vetting of refugees.
The overall consensus of the report is there is a high risk that people with bad intentions will get through to the West. Personally, I have no faith in upping the standards of vetting as a means of making the influx of thousands of Syrian refugees safe for America.