PARIS -- What's the point of intervening in a foreign country under the guise of humanitarianism, or sending aid, if you're just going to end up importing its citizens en masse anyway? Isn't the whole idea to shape up the place so that its people can safely remain there?
The Obama administration is in such an apparent rush to import thousands of refugees from the Syrian crisis -- which will probably go down in history as the conflict featuring the highest number of different Islamist groups fighting against each other -- that it's fretting over how to cut through those pesky anti-terrorism safeguards in order to expedite the do-gooding.
For a Senate hearing on the Syrian refugee crisis earlier this month, Molly Groom of the Department of Homeland Security provided written testimony describing the federal government's refugee vetting process, which includes in-country interviews and security checks that are conducted using intelligence and law-enforcement databases.
American databases are hardly the gold standard for vetting foreign nationals, even when they come from countries where their credit rating or last known address can actually be checked. Groom herself referred to the cases of Mohanad Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan, two Iraqi refugees and al-Qaeda members who used their newly granted American freedom in Kentucky to send weapons, cash and explosives back home.
But, Groom said, "The broad definitions of 'terrorist activity' and 'terrorist organization' under U.S. immigration law are often a barrier to resettling otherwise eligible refuges." She noted that some refugees can run afoul of security safeguards through "routine interactions."
I imagine that would look something like this: You're living in a part of Syria teeming with Islamists. You wave to your jihadist neighbor en route to the bakery, where the jihadist behind the counter serves you a baguette. In return you give him some money -- or as Homeland Security would call it, "material support." Later that afternoon, you get a group of guys together to kick around the soccer ball, but unbeknownst to you, you've just joined the Jihadist Falcons club team. Cry me a river.