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When Refugees Get An Olympic Team

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Allowing refugees to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil won’t solve the global refugee crisis—but it will benefit political opportunists.


Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it had selected 10 athletes—four females and six males—to compete in Rio. The refugees will carry the IOC flag, since they have no common national flag.

“It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society,” the IOC enthusiastically defended its decision.

Let’s be clear: no one—except perhaps the Grinch before he met Cindy Lou Who—believes refugees are not our fellow human beings. We can all agree that friends in need are friends indeed.

Yet, poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans do not support accepting thousands of refugees into our country. Indeed, only one in four Millennials would “strongly agree” with President Obama’s edict to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into America by the end of fiscal year 2016, according to Ipsos Public Affairs.

Why? Because most Americans have the common sense to know that many refugees are merely feigning to be our friends in need. The New York Times recently pointed out that most of the refugees entering the United States are able-bodied males of military-fighting age. State Department data also shows us that 96 percent of the refugees entering the U.S. are Muslim and only 2.8 percent are Christian—despite the fact that Christian refugees face the greatest persecution abroad.


Isn’t it interesting that 70 percent of U.S. Muslims, according to a 2011 Pew survey, say they most closely identify as Democrats? Politicians could care less about refugees. They care about votes.

It’s easy for the IOC to pontificate, but the U.S. government is not doing what the IOC did: carefully hand-select just 10 refugees from an already-narrow field of 43 refugee athletes, diverse in terms of country of origin and gender. The IOC put together an Olympic team that was 40 percent female and only 20 percent Syrian. 100 percent of the 10,000 refugees Obama is welcoming are from the terror hotbed Syria.

Finally, unlike the IOC—an executive committee that presumably voted on this new refugee policy—we as American citizens did not vote on Obama’s refugee rule. Instead, our taxpayer dollars are being extorted—$6.5 billion according to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)—to bring 10,000 improperly vetted refugees into America.

Heart of the Matter: Facts & Figures

Love thy neighbor as thyself. Certainly you wouldn’t starve yourself, so why are we starving our own people in order to pretend to help others? The majority of Americans make under $30,000 annually. In contrast, when Obama was first elected in 2008, the majority of Americans (63 percent, according to Gallup) were “middle class”—meaning they earned between $42,000 and $126,000 annually.


The U.S. economy is on a rapid and historic downward spiral at a time when international and domestic terrorism linked to refugees is rising. In these circumstances, our country’s refugee policy is not rooted in charity, but stupidity. Consider the following facts.

State’s rights are being threatened. The New American recently explained how the federal government is funding “‘contractor’ organizations” that “take in well over $1 billion in federal taxpayer funding annually.” This money is funneled to county, city and school boards, to put on lavish pro-refugee events and marketing campaigns.

Local citizens who oppose refugee settlements in their neighborhoods are struggling to compete with this injection of federal dollars. For example, The Economist reports how, in a small Idaho community, locals petitioned for refugee policies to be on “a formal ballot initiative before county voters.” The local citizens were quickly shut down by “city power-brokers” who teamed up with the federal government to smear the ballot initiative as ‘bigoted’ and throw a splashy event with speakers from “Twin Falls school, public safety and medical officials, as well as by an invited speaker from the federal government, Larry Bartlett, director of the State Department’s Office of Refugee Admissions.”

The Idaho ballot proposal died. Handmade signs couldn’t compete with the flashy presentations of seemingly-expert panelists who touted the economic and cultural benefits of accepting more refugees.


Refugee advocates claim that refugees contribute to our economy. But over 70 percent receive cash and/or medical welfare and 90 percent are on food stamps according to Sen. Sessions. Meanwhile, as stated earlier, the majority of Americans are struggling to put food on their own tables.

A similar scenario is shaking out in Rutland, Vermont, where Mayor Christopher Louras proclaimed—without a public vote—that his peaceful town would accept 100 Syrian refugees. Many Rutland residents are not pleased, to say the least.

Tick, Tock

Eight months ago, in September of 2015, Obama announced his plan to bring 10,000 refugees into America.

It takes at least 18 months to complete all 18 steps for a single refugee to be properly vetted to enter the U.S. as a refugee. But, last Thursday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced that the U.S. had approved 4,700 additional refugees in an attempt to quickly meet Obama’s quota of 10,000.

It doesn’t take rocket science to determine that these refugees are bypassing the normal 18-month vetting process if they were approved in just eight months.

Moreover, we know that the refugees are being infiltrated and manipulated by terrorist groups as a way to smuggle militants into America.

Why aren’t we heeding the warnings of James Clapper, our Director of National Intelligence or FBI Counterterrorism Division Assistant Director Michael Steinbach? On February 9, Clapper stated that ISIS terrorists are “skilled” and “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow.” Steinbach recently called refugee vetting impossible due to the “lack of information” available.


Let’s not wait for the next San Bernardino or Paris attack to wake up. Contact your elected officials today and tell them to return to governing by the U.S. Constitution—not executive order. Because we can all agree with the International Olympic Committee that refugees are our fellow humans. We just want American citizens to be treated like humans too.

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