Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | muslims | refugees | welcoming america | soros | backlash

As More Muslim Refugees Arrive, Costly Efforts and Backlash Grow

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 02:05 PM

In response to a report that cities and states are pushing back against the federal government's refugee resettlement program, partly due to the increase in Muslim refugees, the Obama administration is spending money on educating the public on being more welcoming to them.

Millions of dollars in grants have been given to organizations such as Welcoming America, which was started in 2010 with money from George Soros' Open Society Foundations, World Net Daily reported.

The group says that it works to "educate" elected officials and Americans on being welcoming to refugees who come to the United States.

This move comes after a report published in 2013 by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), an organization that works as a government resettlement contractor, which cited "a notable rise in state and local anti-refugee sentiment and activity across the country."

Traditionally, American cities have welcomed resettled refugees into their communities, the report said. After the 1980 Refugee Act was passed, refugees who came from the United States were primarily those who were fleeing communism and other similar oppressive situations.

While HIAS cited several factors that have contributed to the growing resistance to accepting refugees, such as budget shortfalls, one major factor is "the fact that many refugees resettled today are Muslims."

"In a comprehensive study on the American Muslim community that explores and documents how Muslims are integrating into U.S. society in over 75 cities across the United States, researchers found that 'one of the most important factors for many Americans in judging their Muslim neighbors ... is the idea that Muslims will not be loyal to America when push comes to shove and value Islamic law over the law of America," the HIAS report said.

While very few cases of refugees have been connected to terrorism, HIAS claimed in its report, "anti-immigrant groups have suggested that the program is a gateway for terrorists."

HIAS made several recommendations to the federal government to help counter such sentiment, including "new tools to fight back against a determined legislator or governor who has decided to challenge resettlement for political or other reasons."

The group also recommends "a funded, proactive organizing initiative, coordinated nationally but strongly rooted in local action, to raise awareness in communities about the benefits of resettlement and proactively prevent resettlement backlash."

Welcoming America is running advertising campaigns on TV, radio and billboards in parts of the country where Americans are not considered "welcoming" to refugees. The ad campaign is pushing the message that refugees are able to make economic contributions as "new Americans" in the United States, World Net Daily reported.

HIAS is among nine other resettlement groups that the government contracts with to do resettlement work across the country.

World Net Daily says that these groups claim that they are nonprofit "charitable" groups, while most of their money comes from government grants.

HIAS said in the 2013 report that "the recruitment of young Somalis by terrorist cells and the arrest of two resettled Iraqi refugees in Kentucky on terrorism charges have provided fuel for these allegations."

The FBI has warned of this problem in recent months, as well. In February, the FBI said that Somali refugees in Minnesota are prime targets for terrorist cells around the country.

Six Somali refugees were arrested by the FBI in April in Minnesota and California for attempting to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. 

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said following the arrest that "we have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota."

There have also been similar concerns raised by lawmakers after the State Department announced that the number of Syrian refugees is expected to quadruple over the next couple of years. 

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, who is also chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that he fears that the Syrian refugees will merely become "a federal jihadi pipeline" for Islamic State operatives to take advantage of.

One city that has been picked to receive Syrian refugees is Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is in the congressional district of GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Local residents contacted Gowdy about this issue, who then sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry in April inquiring about the refugees. Gowdy said that he received a vague response, so he sent another letter in May asking for more specific information. 

In a statement, Gowdy said that the State Department said that his office was "'critical in the process of establishing the refugee resettlement," which he said was "patently false." 

According to World Net Daily, a letter was sent to President Barack Obama by 14 Democratic senators, who are asking that Obama "dramatically increase" the numbers of Syrian refugees.

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In response to a report that cities and states are pushing back against the federal government's refugee resettlement program, partly due to the increase in Muslim refugees, the Obama administration is spending money on educating the public on being more welcoming to them.
muslims, refugees, welcoming america, soros, backlash
773
2015-05-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 02:05 PM
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