By LEO HOHMANN:
Displaced Syrians will likely make up the next big wave of Muslim refugees coming to America.
Since the early 1990s, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees has selected 200,000 to 250,000 refugees from Islamic countries to be resettled in the United States. Most of them have come from Somalia and Iraq.
Syria could soon be added to the mix in the midst of that country’s brutal civil war. The Obama administration has been greasing the skids for the Syrian refugees for months, WND has learned, and the refugees will soon be dumped on American cities throughout the U.S.
In February, the State Department moved to ease the rules that protect the U.S. from accepting refugees with potential ties to terrorist organizations. The rules were seen as “too strict” by the refugee-resettlement groups that lobby Congress and the administration to continuously let in more Muslims from the war-torn Middle East.
Then on Sept. 4, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman hinted at her daily press briefing that a new wave of refugees will soon be coming from another predominantly Muslim nation – Syria.
“The United Nations high commissioner for refugees just this year started referring Syrian refugees to the United States for processing,” said Marie Harf. “Obviously, we have several thousand in the pipeline, and that number will continue to go up.”
Obama’s State Department is expected to present Congress with a list within the next two weeks that shows the total number of foreign refugees it wants to accept into the country over the next year and the countries from which they will come. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
A few local newspaper reports have already surfaced, providing clues as to where some of the Syrian refugees will be delivered. The Winston-Salem Journal carried a reportlast week that the Triad area of North Carolina could receive some of the refugees. The first Syrian family has already arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is living in a hotel there, according to the Journal.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Sept. 10 that the city’s social services were preparing for “a flood of refugees” from Syria and Iraq later this year. Cleveland, Akron and Columbus, Ohio, have been hotspots in the past for Muslim refugees coming from the Middle East.
Once the refugees are relocated to an American city, they are quickly connected to an array of taxpayer-funded social services, including Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized housing. Interpreters and tutors are often provided to help bridge the language gap that refugee children will find in local public schools.
Groups like Human Rights First, World Relief Corp., the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Catholic and Lutheran churches all have strong presences in Washington and often do the bidding of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, World Relief, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Church World Services and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society push for more foreign refugees to be resettled in America, which results in more federal grants flowing into their coffers.
WND has documented in previous stories that more than 90 percent of the money used by these religious charities for resettling refugees comes from federal grants. They operate like government contractors in the lucrative resettlement business under the guise of providing “charity.”
Most of the Syrian refugees will likely be coming from Turkey, where thousands have fled across the border from Syria, but others are huddled in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
Melanie Nezer, head of policy and advocacy at Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one of the organizations that resettles refugees in the U.S. using federal grants, wrote an op-edMarch 28 in the New York Daily News in which she called for the U.S. to accept 75,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. That would be 15,000 a year coming to the U.S. under permanent refugee status.
“That’s a huge number,” said Ann Corcoran, a writer and researcher for Refugee Resettlement Watch, a group that monitors the U.N.’s distribution of foreign refugees throughout the United States. She said 15,000 a year would be on a par with the Iraqi refugee program, which has produced the largest, fastest-growing refugee community in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.
“Most of the Syrian refugees in these refugee camps are Sunni Muslims; they’re not Christians,” said Corcoran. “The camps in places like Turkey and Jordan, you’re not going to find a ton of Christians.”
The United Nations, working with the U.S. State Department, has already shipped approximately 115,000 Iraqis to American cities since Sept. 11. Another 100,000 Somalis have been resettled in the United States since that country devolved into civil war in 1993. The Somali refugees have been described as 99.9 percent Muslim by Somali-American leaders. The Iraqi refugees have also been majority Muslim and, while the exact percentages are more difficult to track, the Iraqis coming to the States have been estimated at 62 percent Muslim.
Culture clash in American cities
Once here, Muslim families have vastly more children than the typical American family. The average Somali couple in Minnesota, for example, has six children.
These refugee families have changed the demographics of their host cities, such as Shelbyville, Tennessee; Lewiston, Maine; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, all of which have reported culture clashes between Muslims expecting everything from foot baths at public colleges to dietary concessions at public schools. A Tyson Foods meat-packing plant in Shelbyville decided in 2009 to acquiesce to a local union’s demands to drop the paid holiday of Labor Day in favor of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, a decision that Tyson later reversed in the wake of a public backlash.
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