Posted by: ZOA Staff
May 9, 2016
News Press Release

ZOA Opposes Obama Dramatically Reducing Vetting Time of Syrian Muslims

31% - Syrian refugees oppose destroying ISIS, 41% - US/Israel greatest threat to security/stability of Mideast, 73% - US policy toward Arabs negative, 25% - to improve opinion of US end support of Israel, 1% - end Iran nuke program

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The Zionist Organization of America strongly opposes President Obama dramatically speeding up the vetting time of Syrian Muslim immigrants, from 24 months to reportedly only 3 months – despite the fact that top government experts, including FBI Director Comey, have testified that the existing 18- to 24-month vetting system is inadequate to ferret out ISIS infiltrators.  Director Comey noted that “a number of people who were of serious concern” slipped through the Iraqi refugee vetting, including two arrested on terrorism charges – even though U.S. soldiers collected population data on the ground in Iraq. 

U.S. vetting also spectacularly failed when we had country data in cases such as the Boston Marathon bombers and San Bernadino killer Tashfeen Malik.  Director Comey admitted that Syrian refugees are even more difficult to vet because we are not on the ground in Syria and lack data on Syrians, famously stating:  “We can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing showing up because we have no record of them.”  

US National Intelligence Director James Clapper testified that U.S. intelligence officials have a “huge concern” that ISIS will infiltrate among the refugees. Cong. Peter King, Chair of House Counter-terrorism Committee, said, “We have no idea whose coming out of Syria…it definitely puts US at risk.”  Especially since ISIS boasts about its producing 100,000 phony passports. Also, in terms of attitudes among the Syrian population, the 2014 Arab Center for Research and Policy Poll shows that 31% of Syrian refugees oppose destroying ISIS; 41% believe the US/Israel are the greatest threats to stability and security of Mideast; 73% have negative attitudes toward US Mideast policy; 25% believe ending support for Israel will improve opinion of the US; and only 1% want end of Iran nuke program.  No wonder the Bloomberg poll shows Americans oppose Syrian Muslim immigration by 2 to 1. See additional intelligence warnings at ZOA Opposes Bringing In ISIS-Infiltrated Syrian Refugees.

U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper testified that U.S. intelligence officials have a “huge concern” that ISIS will infiltrate among the refugees.

Notably, the Obama administration and its supporters such as HIAS leader Mark Hetfield previously argued that, despite its own intelligence officials’ warnings and testimony, vetting was adequate because of the system’s multiple layers of vetting and 18 to 24-month waiting period.  For instance, White House Press Secretary Ben Rhodes stated during a November 15, 2015 press briefing that no pause is needed in the vetting process because of the existing “lengthy timeline” which involves “waiting for 18 to 24 months and going through an exhaustive process of screening and interviews.”  Thus, by drastically shortening the vetting process now, in a rush to import as many Syrian Muslim immigrants as fast possible during the president’s remaining months in office, the Obama administration is apparently dispensing with its own chief supposed vetting process “safeguard” in the process.

During President Obama’s remarks to college reporters on April 28, 2016, a college reporter asked:  “Do you have any plans to speed up that flow or encourage more Syrian refugees coming into the country?”  The president responded:  “We’re going to keep on pushing. . . .  administratively, I think now we have the process to speed it up. . . . we believe that we can hit those marks [10,000 Syrian immigrants] before the end of the year.”  The Washington Free Beacon reported that, according to sources that spoke to the Beacon, Obama plans to shorten the screening process to just 3 monthsSee Obama Plan to Cut Refugee Screening Time Raises Concerns About Terrorism.

Furthermore, President Obama indicated during his response to the college reporters that he is looking to vastly expand such immigration.  The president stated: “More broadly, one of the things we’re going to be doing is, at the United Nations we’re going to convene at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, which takes place in September every year.  We’re going to try to make sure that we have an international conference around how we can deal with much larger refugee flows generally.”

The United States is already the world’s leader in resettling refugees.  UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi stated on March 18, 2016: “The United States resettles more refugees than any other country including 90 percent of African refugees. This year the US plans to resettle 85,000 refugees, including at least 10,000 from the Syria conflict.”  The UN Commissioner further noted that the U.S. plans to increase these numbers in 2017.  

Refugee Resettlement Watch reported that 99% of the Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. during the first two months of FY 2016 are Sunni Muslims.  Similarly, despite the slaughters of Christians by Islamic radicals throughout the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, the Obama administration is largely focused on importing and resettling Muslims.  For instance, Refugee Resettlement Watch reported that of 827 Somalis resettled in the U.S. in a recent 6-week period, all but one were Muslim. And why isn’t there a strong effort to relocate Syrian Muslims in the 46 Muslim majority countries.