House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, released an internal DHS memo they obtained saying the agency relaxed its requirements for refugees to prove who they are, which makes fraud “easy to commit” and hard to detect. In joint-panel testimony, ICE Director Sarah Saldana denied ever seeing the memo but the news could undermine the Administration’s push for more refugees from terror-producing countries.
“The president’s decision to increase overall refugee resettlement — and specifically that of Syrian refugees — ignores warnings from his own national security officials that Syrians cannot be adequately vetted to ensure terrorists are not admitted. Revelations about fraud, security gaps, and lack of oversight have demonstrated that the program is creating national security risks,” Reps. Chaffetz and Goodlatte said in a letter to DHS Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The memo included the following:
The Immigration System is a constant target for exploitation by individuals who seek to enter the United States and who are otherwise ineligible for entry based on security grounds. The Refugee Program is one such avenue in which ineligible aliens seek to enter by fraud.
[The] Refugee Program is particularly vulnerable to fraud due to loose evidentiary requirements where at times the testimony of an applicant alone is sufficient for approval. As a result, a range of bad actors, who use manufactured histories, biographies and other false statements, as well as produce and submit fictitious supporting documentation, have exploited this program.
Identity fraud can be prevalent in the refugee process. The uniform processing of refugees by the Dep (DHS) offices takes places in foreign refugee camps. Typically, these camps have been established outside of war zones and many have open access, thereby allowing individuals to infiltrate and purchase the identities of those individuals already in the process.
Refugee fraud is easy to commit, yet not easy to investigate [because] [r]efugee laws purposefully contain relaxed evidentiary requirements . . . , Refugee applications do not require sponsorship of a third party, such as a relative or employer, [and] Refugee claims are typically made in areas of the world where it is difficult to investigate the veracity of the claim.
Administration officials say refugee applicants undergo strict screening, which includes interviews by officers are trained to spot fraud. But a State Department official this week admitted that ISIS terrorists are trying to insert themselves in refugee camps to gain admittance to the United States. In order to reach the president’s goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, the Administration shortened its normal 18-20 month vetting process to just three.
Read more in The Washington Times.
Updated: Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 9:05am EDT