Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Trump Ups The Ante, Reform The Refugee Program

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

By Gary L. Bauer

Trump Ups The Ante

Donald Trump has done some good things in this campaign. He has brought a lot of attention to the need to secure our borders in a dangerous world. He has given voice to a new American patriotism and has spoken out for America's heartland, which is being gutted economically. He has also cut through the political lie that our "war on terror" has nothing to do with Islam.

Yesterday, in a prepared statement and in follow-up interviews, he called for a moratorium on all Muslim immigration to the United States. He was immediately condemned not only by big media and the political left, but also by many Republicans and even some conservatives in good standing.

So on one side, Obama seems intent on flooding the country with at least 250,000 Muslim immigrants a year. He wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees in the name of compassion but is completely ignoring Syria's Christian refugees who pose virtually no terror risks. Obama appears to be effectively banning the very groups -- Christians -- who are targets of genocide. Trump's answer is to ban all Muslim immigration.

The appropriate conservative answer is to implement a major reform of our immigration process that adds much more stringent checks for terror connections. I also strongly support a screening process that blocks any immigrant, Muslim or otherwise, who expresses hatred for Christians, Jews and other faiths.

No one should be admitted who wants the Constitution to be superseded by Sharia law or any other dogma. We must stop importing hatred. This is not a religious test. It is a commonsense, self-preservation test that protects all Americans of every faith and creed.

Reform The Refugee Program

As you know, the Obama White House resisted calls to tighten screening of refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks. We were told over and over that refugees are subjected to intense security checks. But the intelligence community has apparently been warning that radical Islamists are attempting to infiltrate our refugee program.

Yesterday, Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, released portions of a classified letter from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). The letter states that "individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria [have attempted] to gain entry to the U.S. through the U.S. refugee program."

Moreover, the NCTC warns that "all immigration programs" are "vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West."

Intelligence officials have expressed their concerns about the adequate vetting of refugees since the beginning of the year. Obama knows our intelligence community is worried about terrorists infiltrating the program, yet he is attacking conservatives for saying the same thing.

By the way, since the Paris terrorist attacks, only one Syrian Christian has been admitted to the U.S. under Obama's refugee program. Just one. Where is the outrage about that?

Clearly, this program is in desperate need of reform, and the American people support reform.

A new CNN poll finds that 61% of Americans oppose Obama's policy of resettling Syrian refugees in America. This is in line with the results from other recent surveys. (Here, here and here.)

There is a tremendous opportunity here for Republicans to seize the reform mantle and go on the attack over the issues of border security and national security. We don't have to win hearts and minds on this. The American people are already with us. Few other issues on the GOP agenda would poll so well.