The Smear Campaign against Ronald Mortensen

(Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

National Review, by Hans A. von Spakovsky and Ana Quintana, June 2, 2018:

The Trump administration’s pick for a refugee-resettlement post is highly qualified but has met with bad-faith criticism.

Last week the White House announced it will nominate Ronald Mortensen to head the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). With decades of experience in humanitarian assistance, diplomacy, and management, Mortensen is well qualified for the job. Yet the Left is rushing to its battle stations to try and stop his confirmation.

The State Department describes PRM’s mission this way: “to provide protection, ease suffering, and resolve the plight of persecuted and uprooted people around the world on behalf of the American people.” A look at Mortensen’s career makes clear he’s an ideal candidate to run this arm of America’s engagement with the world.

A 20-year veteran of the Foreign Service, Mortensen has labored to ease suffering on four continents. Working with the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in the U.S. Agency for International Development, he was sent to Haiti after the earthquake and went to west Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak. He flew to Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the invasion in 2003 and has led disaster-assistance response teams there five times. Mortensen also has served in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and the Congo.

As he noted to a reporter, “saving lives and alleviating human suffering — what better job can there be?”

But overseeing the $3 billion–plus budget of PRM isn’t just a matter of humanitarianism. Mortensen — with a master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in political science — also has what it takes to captain this ship. In addition to gaining extensive management experience while working for the government, Mortensen was director of human resources and international entry for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, an especially complex management puzzle given the stringent new visa security procedures that were set up after 9/11.

So where’s the controversy? Why are activists on the left so outraged?

As its name suggests, PRM manages refugee issues — both helping those abroad and resettling some in the U.S. What’s driving the Left’s smear campaign is a policy disagreement over the balance between these two approaches. The Trump administration correctly believes it is more effective to use the limited taxpayer funds available to help the greatest number of people, which means focusing on assistance overseas rather than the very costly process of resettling a relative handful of refugees in hard-pressed American communities.

The administration’s critics, however, want ever-higher levels of refugee arrivals. Many refugee-advocacy groups see the admission of more and more refugees as a kind of moral litmus test, despite the fact that each dollar spent on resettling a refugee in the U.S. could help care for twelve refugees abroad.

What should be a civil policy disagreement has turned into a smear campaign against Mortensen. The ACLU has falsely called him an “anti-immigrant zealot.” The Anti-Defamation League has defamed him with an erroneous claim that his supposedly “extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric” is “disqualifying.” And the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which is “infamous for lumping mainstream conservative nonprofits alongside legitimate hate groups,” according to the Capital Research Center, has slammed Mortensen because of his connection to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a mainstream think tank the SPLC perversely labels a “hate group.”

What makes this last smear especially implausible is that Mortensen, in his work as a fellow at CIS, has written only on issues related to illegal immigration, not refugees. But this distinction is lost on those whose only recommendation on immigration and refugee resettlement is “More!” — even if it means helping fewer people.

At their core, U.S. immigration and refugee programs must serve U.S. interests, support our allies, and help those in greatest need. That cannot happen without serious reforms to the status quo.

Mortensen has spent years away from home delivering food to the hungry, medicine to the sick, clothes to the shivering, and housing to the homeless. He knows how to help the largest number of refugees with the funds entrusted to him by the American taxpayer. He is exactly what this agency needs, and Americans will be proud of his service when he is confirmed.

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow, and Ana Quintana a senior policy analyst, at the Heritage Foundation.

Lessons from Europe’s Immigrant Wave: Douglas Murray Cautions America

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
July 24, 2017

Douglas Murray has long voiced his concern about the growing influence of Muslim culture on the West. The associate editor of Britain’s Spectator, a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank on radical Islam, he has built an international reputation for his opposition to the demographic changes of the West and the threats to its traditions. In his latest book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam(Bloomsbury, 2017), he attacks all of these subjects as they relate to the current crisis of migration from the Middle East.

It is a controversial book, particularly for Americans and Jews, but one which also makes important arguments against the multiculturalist ideal. That ideal, which once led much of domestic policy across Europe and the United States, has proven not only a failure, but a threat to the values and national security of Western civilization.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism recently spoke with Murray about his book and the concerns that drove him to write it.

Abigail R. Esman: As an American, a Jew, and an immigrant myself to the Netherlands, there are aspects of your arguments against immigration and asylum that are troublesome to me. I come from a country where we are all immigrants, or our parents or grandparents were likely immigrants. You talk for instance of families where “neither parent speaks English as a first language,” yet my husband is Australian and I am American and neither of us speaks Dutch as a first language. So naturally, I come at these arguments with some concern. Are you saying, basically, close the borders?

Douglas K . Murray: It’s only for me to diagnose what’s happening – to see the truth about what is going on. Policy makers will make their own decisions. I have obviously broad views on it, which is that I think you can’t continue at the rate we have now, and I think you have to be choosy about the people you bring in. But you are right, and there are two groups of people who have had trouble with some of the basic things in this book: one is people of Jewish background, and others who come from nations of immigrants, like America. But Britain isn’t a nation of immigrants – we have been a static society with all the benefits and ills that this brings. And I think it is dishonest to say it is the same thing. I realize people who are predominantly Jewish have a particular sensitivity to it, but I think that that’s a particular issue. And why do we say one migration is just like the other It’s like saying because two vehicles went down the same road they are the same vehicle.

ARE: How is it different?

DKM: In the UK, when Jewish migration happened more than a century ago, the main thing was integration, integration into the society, wanting desperately to be part of British society. Why do synagogues in the UK have a portrait of the Queen? And after services, they often sing the British national anthem. It’s very moving. It’s an effort to demonstrate this is what we are and this is what we want to be. You’d be hard pressed to find a mosque with a picture of the queen who sing the anthem.

ARE: That element of integration is crucial, I agree. In America, in fact, immigrants in the past and often even today are eager to give their children Anglicized names: “Michael,” not “Moishe,” “Henry,” not “Heinrich.” Yet you do not see the name changes in Muslims these days. Why do you think that is?

DKM: Because there is less of a feeling to integrate. They want to stay with the country they’ve left but not deal with its economics. Some people find it flattering – that people want to move to your country – they say well, it shows what a wonderful place we are. No, it shows that your economics work better.

ARE: You also write about Muslim enclaves in Europe where “the women all wear some form of head covering and life goes on much as it would if the people were in Turkey or Morocco.” How is that different than, say, Chinatowns, or Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in America and say, Belgium, where women wear wigs and men have peyas, or sidelocks?

DKM: The example of Chinatown-like places is a good comparison. These are places that are mini-Chinas, they are enjoyed and liked by people because they are a different place. Well, if people want to have a mini-Bangladesh, that’s one vision of a society. It’s not the vision we were sold in Europe. It was not meant to be the case that portions of our cities were meant to become totally different places. In the 1950s the British and other European authorities said we have to bring people into our countries and we will get a benefit in labor. But if they had said that the downside is that large portions of the area would be unrecognizable to their inhabitants, there would have been an outcry.

And the issue of them being different from Hasidic communities – you’re right, they are similar. You can go to Stamford Hill in North London and see most of the men in hats and so on and that’s because that’s an enclave that wants to keep to itself. That raises questions: one, people don’t mind that, for several reasons – one is the recognition that Orthodox men don’t cause troubles. We don’t have cases of Orthodox men going out and cutting off people’s heads. If four Jewish men from Stamford Hill had blown up buses some years back there would be concern about these enclaves.

And also those enclaves are not growing. If it was the case that these enclaves were becoming areas where all the city was hat-wearing Orthodox Jews, then people would say wait, what is that? You can applaud that or abhor it, but it’s important to mention.it.

ARE: In the Netherlands, which has some of the toughest immigration policies in the world, people from certain countries are required to take “citizenship” courses before they can even enter Dutch borders. They have to learn the language, they have to learn about Dutch values, and that no, you can’t throw stones at Jews and gay people and that gay marriage is legal and women wear short dresses. Would you recommend other countries take on the Dutch policy of citizenship courses?

DKM: I make this point in the book. You say we could have done more and better, but the fundamental thing is that none of it was ever expected in the first place. No one ever thought that we would be in the situation we are now in. We didn’t expect them to stay. That’s a very big misunderstanding. Why wouldyou ask people to become Dutch citizens if you expect them to go home in five years? Why if you only expect them to stay in Britain for only 10 years? But then we realized they would stay and then we said, “we have to let them practice their own culture.” But for us to have acted as you suggest we would have had to know [at the time].

So yes, I think it’s a bare minimum for Europe to have the Dutch policy, even at this very late stage. I’m of the inclination that this is too little too late, but I wish everyone luck with it.

ARE: What about Yazidi women, Syrian Christians?

DKM: Again, it comes down to the Jewish question – because people think that every refugee is like a Jew from Nazi Germany. But if you were to think of a group that was facing an attempt to wipe them off the face of the earth then yes, you’d have the Yazidis. But there are people on all sides of the Syrian civil war, which are a minority of people coming to Europe – these are people fleeing sectarian conflict, but none of them are fleeing an effort to wipe them out as a people. So the lazy view, and it is quite often pushed by Jewish groups which I think is a mistake – is to suggest that it is similar to Nazi Germany. And I wish more care were taken in this.

ARE: Is this in your mind a way of stopping radical Islam? Because so many of the radicalized Muslims are actually converts. How would it help?

DKM: We know that people who convert to anything tend to be fundamentalist. But the important thing is, if you were pliable to be converted, available to be converted, then it raises the question of what kind of Islam do we have in these countries? If it were people finding Sufism, rather than hardcore Salafism, maybe it would be different. I have a friend who is a Muslim who was on a trip some years ago who told me the story of introducing a Muslim woman to one of the senior clerics at Al-Azhar and she wouldn’t shake his hand. He asked her why not. She said, “Because I’m Muslim.” So he asked her how long she’d been a Muslim, and she said “Six years.” He said, “I’ve been a Muslim for eight decades.” And then he turned and said to his friend in Arabic, “What kind of Muslims are you making in Britain?”

ARE: One thing the American Muslim community seems to have over its European brethren is its successful integration into society. Yet at the same time, some of the worst of the radicals are in fact American-born. We have people like Linda Sarsour, who wears the mantle of feminism, but who is really a Trojan horse for the Islamists. She has said things like “Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and lease any other people in authority.” What are the dangers of that kind of message?

DKM: I once spent an evening with Linda Sarsour. She is a very unpleasant, very radical girl. Filled with hate. I was the one having to defend America to Americans in an American audience against an American opponent. What she told that night was all lies, which you would tell either because you are dumb, which she isn’t, or because you want to spread propaganda, which she does.

I just think she is of a type. There are various sides to the issue that are important. There’s an “us” question and a “them” question. The “them” question is, what do people like that believe, what are they doing and how vile are they? But in a way, the “us” question is bigger. Why do we let them do this? What is wrong with America at this time in its history that an obvious demagogue like her can end up leading a feminist march [the 2017 Women’s March]? That’s an illness of America. She’s just a symptom of that.

ARE: And similarly, the Rushdie affair was effective in quashing further expression and criticism related to Islam. And Charlie Hebdo took that to an extreme. We haven’t had anything that severe, but there were the South Park threats and the attempted attack on the Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland. You blame European politicians and media for failing to recognize that those who were shouting “fire” were in fact the arsonists. This seems to be a global challenge – that any criticism or critique of Islam gets shouted down as inherently bigoted. In the U.S., the Southern Poverty Law Center places Maajid Nawaz on a list of “anti-Muslim extremists” for criticizing some tenets of the faith and advocating modernization and reform. In Europe the facts are very pessimism-causing. At the same time, though, there was certainly support for Charlie Hebdo, though you seem to deny it in your book, after the shootings. What’s the proper response to that form of a heckler’s veto?

DKM: I agree with the point. The only ways to reject the assassin’s veto is for civil society to be stronger on the question, for governments to ensure that people deemed to have ‘blasphemed’ are protected (as in the case of Rushdie) and that those who incite violence against them (such as Cat Stevens during the Rushdie affair) are the ones who find themselves on the receiving end of prosecutions. That and – obviously – ensuring that blasphemy laws aren’t allowed in through the back door via new ‘hate speech’ laws and the like.

ARE: In the chapter on multiculturalism, you describe interest groups which “were thrown up that claimed to represent and speak for all manner of identity groups.” These self-appointed voices then become the go-to groups for government. To keep the money flowing, they make the problems facing their community appear worse than they really are.” Is that a universal behavior for interest groups? We certainly see that in the U.S. with CAIR and ISNA.

DKM: Every group is vulnerable to that. With every human rights achievement, there are always some people left on the barricades. And the ones who linger on the barricades linger on without any home to go to. And you get these people who are stranded after it’s over and they have to hustle as if everything was as bad as it once was. Sometimes they are telling the truth; sometimes they wave a warning flag, but for the moment it seems particularly in America every group is claiming that this is basically 1938. It’s a tendency of every commune or group that wants awareness raised.

But it’s true, it’s especially prevalent of Muslim groups because if you keep claiming that you are the victim, then you never have to sort out your own house. And the groups that come to Europe and America, they never have to get their house in order if they spend all their time claiming they are victims of genocide and persecution and so on. And this is a familiar story.

ARE: So what would be your lesson, then, for America, especially in a book which clearly is about Europe?

DKM: Well, it is about Europe, certainly, but it’s connected to the debate America is now beginning to have. The first is to be careful with immigration. We’ve all had the same misunderstanding, the same thought that our societies are vast, immovable, unchanging things to which you could keep bringing people of every imaginable stripe and the results will always be the same. And I think that is just not the case, depending on the people who are in them. So we must take care with what kind of immigration we encourage, and at what pace, and that is something America should be thinking of, as everyone else should.

But America will have a harder time with this, because everyone in America has this vulnerability we don’t have in Europe, which is that we are all migrants. And you have the sense of ‘who am I to keep anyone out?’

ARE: I don’t think that’s the American view. I think it’s more that we all became part of this fabric, and we expect that the new immigrants will, too. But not all of them do.

DM: The whole thing actually seems to be unraveling, more than in Europe. In Europe, we don’t like to think in terms of racial terms. But all anyone in America talks about is race.

ARE: I don’t think so….

DKM: Maybe; but your vision of original sin in America seems to have become all so overwhelming. Your leading cultural figures, like Ta-Nehisi Coates, have this image of America born in terrible sin. The Atlantic’s front cover recently was all about slavery. You would get the impression that slavery only ended about 12 months ago. You are going over and over this in America – this endless sense of original sin. You are discussing reparations for slavery in 2017. You’d be hard-pressed to find publications in the UK calling for reparations to our past. Find me a mainstream publication that runs such a thing in Europe, even of WWII reparations.

So it’s symptomatic of something badly wrong at the structure of the public discussion.

ARE: Which suggests that we should do what?

DKM: What you have to listen out for is very straightforward: are the people raising such issues raising them because they want America to improve, or because they want America to end? I think this is a very central issue. Are you speaking as a critic, or as an enemy of the society in question? If you think the society can do no good, then you are speaking as an enemy. If you think there are things that have been done, that are wrong, that should be righted, campaign for them, speak out for them. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can get a posthumous rectification. But it sounds to me like a lot of this talk is from people who hate America. They don’t want to improve it. They want to end it.

So the lesson is – be careful about immigration. Be choosy. And another is a pretty straightforward one which is to work on the people who are there not to fall into the victim narratives of their special interest groups. And to focus on the “we.” I’ve always felt more optimistic for America in this regard, for the same reason I feel more optimistic than others do about France: because I think there is a very specific identity there, which it is possible to become a part of. I think it’s something other Western European countries, have not accomplished in the same way. So basically to strengthen their own identity.

ARE: Do you consider yourself a pessimist?

DKM: I think in Europe the facts are very pessimism-causing. I think it would be a strange person who would look at 12,000 people landing in Lampedusa, all young men, all without jobs, all without futures, and think, ‘That’s going to go really well. These are going to be just like the Jews of Vienna. These are going to be the receptacles of our culture.’ I don’t see it happening.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands. Follow her at @radicalstates

President Trump Reverses Obama’s Anti-Christian Refugee Policy

Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, July 19, 2017:

After declaring that Christians have “been horribly treated” by the refugee program under former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump has reversed the Obama administration’s disgraceful discrimination against Christian refugees.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department refugee data, during the period from January 21, 2017 – President Trump’s first full day in office – through June 30, “9,598 Christian refugees arrived in the U.S., compared with 7,250 Muslim refugees. Christians made up 50% of all refugee arrivals in this period, compared with 38% who are Muslim.”

From April through June 2017, Iraq was “the only Muslim-majority nation among the top six origin countries.” The number of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. from January 21, 2017 through June 30, 2017 was 1779. Comparing the number of refugee admissions from Syria for the entire month of January with the entire month of February 2017, the number dropped by nearly half. By June 2017, the number of refugees admitted from Syria was about 26 percent of the already low number of 673 admitted in February.

By contrast, Pew Research Center reported that in fiscal year 2016 – Barack Obama’s last full fiscal year as president – “the U.S. admitted the highest number of Muslim refugees of any year since data on self-reported religious affiliations first became publicly available in 2002.” Overall, the number of Muslims admitted as refugees exceeded the number of Christians who were admitted.

Of the 12,486 refugees from Syria admitted to the United States during that same fiscal year by the Obama administration, about 99 percent were Muslim and less than 1 percent were Christian. Estimates of the Christians’ proportion of the total population of Syria have ranged from 5 to 10 percent since the onset of the Syrian civil war. Muslims made up 87% of Syria’s total population.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry declared in March of last year that the Islamic State had been committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the Obama administration decided that Christians and other refugees belonging to minority religious faiths did not deserve any priority for admission to the U.S.  In fact, the Obama administration discriminated against Christians. It admitted proportionately less Christians relative to the total number of refugees from Syria than even the lower end of Christians’ estimated proportion of the total population of Syria. Incredibly, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, approximately 96% of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States by the Obama administration were Sunni Muslims even though ISIS and al Qaeda jihadists are themselves Sunni Muslims. The ideology of Wahhabism fueling the jihadists’ reign of terror, exported by Saudi Arabia, is of Sunni Muslim origin.

Obama followed a deliberate anti-Christian refugee policy, while condescendingly lecturing Christians to remember the misdeeds he says were committed in the name of Christ many years ago. During a National Prayer Breakfast in 2015, for example, Obama said: “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Obama’s walk through his version of Christian history somehow balances out in his mind the genocide committed by jihadists against Christians on his own watch.

Obama not only insulted Christians who have been facing persecution and death on a mass scale at the hands of Islamist terrorists. He twisted history in trying to invoke his moral relativism. He conveniently left out that the Crusades were a response to Muslim invasions that had resulted in the capture of two-thirds of the old Christian world and that Christian churches took a leadership role in the fights against slavery and segregation.

Thus, it was no surprise that Obama sharply criticized the suggestion that persecuted Christians be given preference for admission as refugees. He said that “when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted… that’s shameful.”  Obama added: “That’s not American, it’s not who we are.”

Obama’s refugee policy was both “shameful” and “not American.” It discriminated against Christians and other non-Muslim minority religious groups who needed refugee status protection the most, while vastly favoring the one group of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries who needed protection the least– Sunni Muslims. The policy ignored the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defined the crime of genocide as including “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a religious group.” (Emphasis added)  Obama’s refugee policy also ignored the fact that “refugee” is defined in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as including “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted” because of that person’s “religion.”

Christians and other religious minorities seeking refuge from genocide and persecution in Syria and other Muslim-majority countries are clearly the most at risk today if they are forced to remain in those countries. Any just refugee policy for the United States must be based on the principle that those most at risk receive the highest priority in admission decisions. President Trump has tried valiantly to correct the misdeeds of the Obama administration by following that principle, which explains at least in part his administration’s reversal of the number of Christian versus Muslim admissions. When refugee admissions to the United States resume after President Trump’s temporary suspension order expires, President Trump should continue to undo the Obama administration’s inexcusable discrimination against Christian victims of Muslim jihadist persecution.

Europe’s Mass Migration: The Leaders vs. the Public

Gatestone Institute, by Douglas Murray, July 9, 2017:

  • “[T]he more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” — Bill Gates.
  • The annual survey of EU citizens, recently carried out by Project 28, found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from that consensus.
  • At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies.

Is Bill Gates a Nazi, racist, “Islamophobe” or fascist? As PG Wodehouse’s most famous butler would have said, “The eventuality would appear to be a remote one”. So far nobody in any position of influence has made such claims about the world’s largest philanthropist. Possibly — just possibly — something is changing in Europe.

In an interview published July 2 in the German paper Welt Am Sonntag, the co-founder of Microsoft addressed the ongoing European migration crisis. What he said was surprising:

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

These words would be uncontroversial to the average citizen of Europe. The annual survey of EU citizens recently carried out by Project 28 found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found, for instance, that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from this consensus. In countries such as Italy and Greece, which have been on the frontline of the crisis of recent years, that figure rockets up. In these countries, nine out of ten citizens think that the EU has handled the migrant crisis poorly.

How could they think otherwise? The German government’s 2015 announcement that normal asylum and border procedures were no longer in operation exacerbated an already disastrous situation. The populations of Germany and Sweden increased by 2% in one year alone because of that influx of migrants. These are monumental changes to happen at such a speed to any society.

Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said in an interview: “…you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” (Photo by World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. Chancellor Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies. This was just one example of a much wider trend. Across the continent, any private or public figure who dared to warn that importing so many people in such a disorganised manner was the origin of a catastrophe found themselves impugned with the darkest imaginable motives.

Even after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, and the discovery that members of the terror-cell had slipped in and out of Europe using the migrant routes, European leaders dismissed public concerns about the migration crisis. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker berated the public and the few politicians who opposed Merkel after the Paris attacks:

“I would invite those in Europe who try to change the migration agenda we have adopted – I would like to remind them to be serious about this and not to give in to these base reactions that I do not like.”

It is understandable that some humanitarian impulse might prevail during a period in which thousands of people were crossing the Mediterranean and many were drowning. Back then in 2015, at the height of the crisis, Bill Gates himself urged America to take in migrants at the levels that Germany was taking them in. Since then, however, Gates has noticed what most people who live in Europe have noticed — which is that while opening your country’s borders may have a short-term moral appeal, it causes a whole variety of long-term societal concerns.

It is these concerns — which the European public can see all around them, as well as on their newspapers’ front-pages — which lead the majority of the public across Europe to want the flow of migrants to be reduced. In his recent German newspaper interview, Bill Gates also expressed this sentiment — and starkly — saying, “Europe must make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.”

All this is, of course, true. It is not possible for Europe to become the home for everyone and anyone in Africa, the Middle East or Far East who manages to cross a fairly narrow stretch of water. The people of Europe have known this for a long time. Some people — heavily criticised by the mainstream media and the political class — have even expressed this. But perhaps now that a measured and surely non-Nazi philanthropist such as Bill Gates has noticed it, something will change. It is probably too much to hope for that the Western European political class might actually listen to his advice. But might they at least rein in their disdain for the reasonable concerns of the general public?

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.

***

Also see:

Stunning news: Trump State Department opens the flood gates, refugee admissions will explode in coming weeks

Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran on May 27, 2017:

Betraying the voters who elected Donald Trump, the Department of State slipped the news to the contractors on Thursday who then slipped the news to the New York Times just as you were packing up for the beach or getting ready for a family barbecue using the federal government’s favorite holiday weekend trick to bury the news.

Forget everything I said in my post yesterday about Trump’s “average” admissions. If they do as they are now saying they will, Donald Trump will be responsible for one of six highest resettlement years since 9/11.***

Manchester here we come!

Here is the headline (Hat tip: Julia). Emphasis mine:

U.S. Quietly Lifts Limit on Number of Refugees Allowed In

WASHINGTON — Despite repeated efforts by President Trump to curtail refugee resettlements, the State Department this week quietly lifted the department’s restriction on the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.

The result could be a near doubling of refugees entering the country, from about 830 people a week in the first three weeks of this month to well over 1,500 people per week by next month, according to refugee advocates. Tens of thousands of refugees are waiting to come to the United States.

The State Department’s decision was conveyed in an email on Thursday to the private agencies in countries around the world that help refugees manage the nearly two-year application process needed to enter the United States.

In her email, Jennifer L. Smith, a department official, wrote that the refugee groups could begin bringing people to the United States “unconstrained by the weekly quotas that were in place.”

[….]

Refugee groups now predict that entries into the United States could increase so rapidly that the total number of refugees admitted by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, could exceed 70,000.

[….]

Refugee advocates were delighted by the State Department’s decision.

“This is long overdue, but we’re very happy,” said Mark Hetfield, president and chief executive of HIAS, an immigrant aid society.

Continue reading here as the contractors say they are worried for next year.  Oh, sure they are.

Bottomline is that it appears that the REPUBLICAN Congress (never forget they want to keep big business donors happy by providing a steady supply of cheap labor) appropriated gobs of money for refugee resettlement! 

And, the Trump Administration (remember Trump campaigned with talk of a moratorium on refugee resettlement) appears to have no fight left in them on this issue (other issues too!).

***Here are the refugee admissions since 9/11 (those in red exceed Trump’s projected 70,000). Bush had only 2 years in excess of 70,000 and Obama had 3 of his 8 years higher than 70,000.

2001: 87,259 (this year’s number would have been proposed by Clinton in the fall of 2000)

2002: 45,896

2003: 39,554

2004: 79,158

2005: 69,006

2006: 41,223

2007: 48,282

2008: 60,191

2009: 74,654

2010: 73,311

2011: 56,424

2012: 58,238

2013: 69,926

2014: 69,987

2015: 69,993

2016: 84,994

Also see:

Comey: FBI looking at 2,000 cases of US links to foreign terrorists, 300 are REFUGEES

Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran, May 9, 2017:

Just when you thought you had had it with FBI Director Comey he admits something that you would never expect a politically-correct Washington insider to reveal.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, Director Comey said in response to questioning by Senator Thom Tillis of NC about those being watched by the FBI who are in contact with foreign terrorists (from a transcript published by the WaPo):

Then we have another big group of people that we’re looking at who we see some contact with foreign terrorists. So you take that 2,000 plus cases, about 300 of them are people who came to the United States as refugees.

As far as I know no reporter has mentioned this stunning news.  Mark Krikorian, Director of the Center for Immigration Studies caught it though and published the revelation at National Review Online here yesterday.  Krikorian reminds us that Comey had testified to Congress on more than one occasion where he admitted that there is no way to thoroughly screen refugees from failed states like Syria and Somalia.

Krikorian:

So 15 percent of the FBI’s terrorism cases are refugees – far more than their share of the immigrant population, let alone the general population. And that denominator of 2,000 presumably includes people with no immigration nexus at all – skinheads, antifa, Klan, environmental and animal rights extremists, et al. So the refugee share of immigration-related terrorism investigations is more than 15 percent, perhaps much more.

Krikorian goes on to argue that, except for a few special cases, we should help legitimate refugees where they are in the world and not risk bringing them to your town and mine.

Read all of Krikorian’s post here.

Western Leaders Confuse Endangering the Innocent for Compassion

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, April 3, 2017:

In London, the Prime Minister (and the previous Prime Minister) and many members of Parliament say the recent jihadi attack in Westminster has nothing to do with Islam, and call for embracing the Islamic community.

In Germany, Angela Merkel has opened German borders to people from sharia-adherent jihadi nations, has defended jihadis as being “un-Islamic” and, in the face of towns being overrun by jihadis, she has doubled-down on her posture.

In France, establishment leaders continue to denounce Marine Le Pen’s call for a truthful dialogue about the threat from Islamic refugee populations, and a call for French pride and liberty as being bigoted and closed-minded.

In Canada, similar malaise sweeps the land as leaders fight for who will bend over backwards farther to appease and please their Islamic residents and immigrants.

In the United States, the previous three Presidents and five or six recent Secretaries of State have belched out comments that Islamic teachings are contrary to those of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Abu Sayef, Boko Haram, or any of the other hundreds of jihadi organizations on the planet despite the fact they all claim to act in the name of Islam and all of their actions are supported by core Islamic teachings and sharia.

Leaders of North American and European Jewish organizations unwittingly stand with Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood leaders because they “know” what its like to be singled out and wrongly targeted for persecution and bigotry.

The same is true in European and American churches where pastors of all denominations throw the Apostles Creed out the window in order to be liked by their “Muslim neighbors” under the guise of “Jesus told us to love everyone – even our enemies.”

Since both government and church leaders hold that love and compassion should be our guide – a noble and just pathway – we must contemplate this from an objective, rational, and reasonable perspective.

Does compassion towards a group of people whose doctrine and belief system call for the destruction of yours take precedence over protecting the innocent in society?

Do muslims who do not believe in or want to abide by sharia constitute a “different version” of Islam? Since objectively, muslims who are speaking out against Sharia are unanimously threatened with death, we must take this into consideration if our thought process is to be considered reasonable.

Did Jesus merely command his followers to be “gentle as doves” which has been extrapolated by some Christian leaders to mean soft-hearted and soft-minded like fools, or was there more to it?  “Wise as serpents” maybe?  Has the bar for what is right and just become only those things that make our enemies “happy” or is there more to love than that?

These are relevant questions because the fate of Western society hangs on the answers.

From the perspective of Western civilization, the government has a role to play as does the Church in civil society.  In neither case is the intentional destruction of innocent civilians an acceptable trade off for surrendering authority and power to an enemy whose stated goal is the killing of innocent non-muslims. We are called to lay our lives down for others in pursuit of righteous causes, not to allow evil to destroy what is good.

That requires us to know objective good and objective evil.

As Sir Winston Churchill said:  “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the
religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas was clear as well:  “Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning.”

It appears the fate of Western civilization is in the hands of the people.  Citizens of free nations will either once again stake a claim in liberty and truth and risk everything for its future, or they will risk being extinguished by the cancer called Islam spreading across the globe.