WND, by Leo Hohmann, February 1, 2017:
The Trump administration has said it decided to focus its 90-day ban on travelers from seven “countries of special interest” because these nations make it nearly impossible to access reliable data upon which to vet their citizens seeking to enter the U.S. on visas.
Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are in civil war. Iraq has been unstable since the departure of U.S. troops under Barack Obama. Iran is run by a seventh-century set of religious rules overseen by mullahs who consider the U.S. to be the “Great Satan.”
President Trump has placed Syria under an additional indefinite moratorium on refugee resettlement. Unlike visa holders who visit for a defined time-frame, refugees are permanently resettled in more than 350 U.S. cities and towns, about half of them coming from Shariah-compliant Muslim nations.
President Trump is not alone in his suspicion of those coming out of Syria with claims of refugee status. Syrian passports are sold on the black market in the Middle East like popcorn. This was proven in the terrorist attacks on Paris and Brussels, which involved Syrians using false documentation to sneak in as “refugees.”
On Tuesday it was reported that Prince Faisal bin Hussein of Jordan, who’s country is hosting more than 650,000 Syrian refugees living in United Nations camps, told a GOP Congressman visiting Jordan on a fact-finding mission that “we can’t vet these people.”
President Obama’s own FBI director, James Comey and others within the FBI also testified before Congress in 2015 saying the Syrians were unvettable.
But the issue of travelers coming to the U.S. on visas from countries of special concern is another problem separate from refugees.
According to a recently released Government Accounting Office study, the number of U.S.-bound travelers pulled aside at foreign airports and banned from boarding their flights is quite eye-opening. In fiscal 2015 alone, more than 22,000 “high risk” travelers were interdicted by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents before boarding planes bound for the U.S. Among that group, 10,648 were declared inadmissible while the balance, 11, 589, were told they could not board with the paperwork presented.
The GAO study goes on to lament that this number of 22,000 banned travelers tells us nothing about the pre-boarding program’s effectiveness. That’s because CPB has failed to develop a baseline system of assessing how many of the overall high-risk travelers are caught before boarding the planes and showing up at a U.S. airport, which is the last line of defense against potential terrorists.
In the 46-page report’s title tells all: “CBP aims to prevent high-risk travelers from boarding U.S.-bound flights, but needs to evaluate program performance.”
Here is a key quote from the report:
“CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] data show that it identified and interdicted over 22,000 high-risk air travelers in fiscal year 2015 through its pre-departure programs. CBP officers at Preclearance locations determined that 10,648 of the approximately 16 million air travelers seeking admission to the United States through such locations were inadmissible. Similarly, CBP, through its IAP, JSP, and RCLG locations, made 11,589 no-board recommendations to air carriers for the approximately 88 million air travelers bound for the United States from such locations. While CBP’s pre-departure programs have helped identify and interdict high-risk travelers, CBP has not fully evaluated the overall effectiveness of these programs using performance measures and baselines.” [Emphasis added]
“The GAO basically came out and said, ‘these are nice numbers but, you don’t really know how many of the bad guys you’re catching before they board the planes,’” said Phillip Haney, a former immigration officer who screened migrants from high-risk countries. “You don’t really have a way of evaluating how effective you are, you may be getting 10 percent, you may be getting 50 percent, we don’t know. They say they have no baseline to assess whether they’re reaching goals. No way of evaluating how really effective the program really is because they haven’t set goals and then done assessment.”
In fact, the U.S. had such a system in place prior to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, Haney said.
“They shut it down when we started the agency, so they’re going back trying to recreate a structure that had already existed,” he said. “They’re going back and trying to recreate a pre-boarding program that already existed. We interdicted 22,000 on the one hand but on other they’re saying you guys really don’t know how effective the program really is.”
Combine this GAO report with the 2015 stats released by the U.S. Southern Command, which reports 10 percent of the 330,000 people who tried to cross the Southern border were from countries of special interest, which include many of the same nations on Trump’s list.
Sunni Muslim extremists are infiltrating the U.S., coming up from South America and Mexico with the help of known Latin American smuggling cartels, according to an intelligence report by the U.S. Southern Command.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR came out Tuesday and said it is instructing Muslims not to answer certain questions from U.S. government agents who interview them at airports or other ports of entry.
CAIR issued similar advice to U.S. Muslims in 2010 and 2011 with regard to cooperating with FBI terrorism investigations.
“They were never content with what the administration gave them, they always kept pushing for more and more,” said Haney, co-author of the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing.”
CBP has officers stationed at airports around the world whose job is to screen passengers right there at the airport before they get on the plane bound for America, says Phillip Haney, who retired about a year ago from DHS where he worked for nearly 14 years as an immigration security analyst and screener.
“And they work with their counterparts in these other countries because they don’t have the authority to say hey you can’t get on the plane … but that’s a lot of people, over 10,000 were inadmissible in 2015,” Haney told WND. “Now it doesn’t say why but a fair proportion of those says below were high risk travelers. These are not folks wanted on traffic tickets, it’s going to be more serious than that.”
Dr. Mark Christian, founder of the Global Faith Institute and a former Muslim imam who grew up in Egypt and converted to Christianity in his late 20s, said citizens of the Muslim world are paying attention to the red-hot debate about immigration going on in America.
“We appreciate the Atlantic Ocean more than ever right now, because if it weren’t for that ocean many more millions would be crossing the sea in boats like they are in Europe,” he said. “You can see there is a craziness going on in America right now and it’s manifesting in the Arab world because Muslims in these lands didn’t know they had a right to come to America, but they are seeing Sen. Chuck Schumer and these others wiping tears for the Muslims, telling them that they always had a right to come.”
“It comes to a surprise to many people outside of America right now that this discussion is even going on,” Christian said. “It’s an absolute right of any sovereign country to secure its border, to set the rules of who will come in, and under what circumstances and who can’t come in.”
Nowhere are these rules more present than in the Gulf Arab states, in Egypt, in Iran or Pakistan.
“They see it in their own countries, you cannot go to any other country outside of America without following their rules. There is deportation on a regular basis in these countries, but all of a sudden in America there is more of a legal right for the illegal immigrant than for the citizen himself. Seems like people who are legal and illegal aliens in the country have more rights than the citizens of America.”
There are 51 Muslim-majority countries in the world right now that are governed by some form of Shariah law, and at least 40 of them do not allow people from the seven Muslim countries on Trump’s list to enter their countries, Christian said.
“And it’s not for any reason but national security,” he said. “Egypt is exporting the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudis are funding them. We have our CIA in both of those countries and so it is wise to keep the channels open to even countries we disagree with. This is a national security issue not a Muslim ban.