Hillary Clinton said: “the United States should spend whatever resources it takes to properly screen Syrian refugees before they are resettled in the United States.” Terrific! This is a common-sense demand. The problem with trying to screen candidates for resettlement from Syria – or any other failed state, such as Somalia, Libya, Yemen, or Afghanistan – is not a lack of resources or commitment.
The problem is that it cannot be done. The problem has no solution. The problem for America and for the American people is: Terrorists will come in with legitimate refugees.
The broader security problem created by refugee admissions – or by large-scale immigration of any kind from societies with large numbers of terrorists is: they establish and constantly refresh neighborhoods, their mosques and other institutions become insular communities. Syrian Ghetto’s if you will, that serve as cover and incubators for terrorism.
The Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, for instance, seems to have been the haven where the recent atrocities in Paris were planned and organized. Its predominantly North African-origin population is certainly mostly peaceful and unthreatening, but they nonetheless served as Terrorist Ghettos hiding within the non-terrorist population.
This applies in our own country as well. Charles E. Allen, DHS’s chief intelligence officer at the time, told this House’s Select Committee on Intelligence in 2007, “As previous attacks indicate, overseas extremists do not operate in a vacuum and are often linked with criminal and smuggling networks – usually connected with resident populations [in the U.S.] from their countries of origin.”
An American example of this phenomenon was the al Qaeda cell in the Yemeni enclave in Lackawanna, N.Y., outside Buffalo, which was broken up in 2002. Five of the six members were U.S.-born but raised in the immigrant neighborhood, which the local paper described this way:
This is a piece of ethnic America where the Arabic-speaking Al-Jazeera television station is beamed in from Qatar through satellite dishes to Yemenite-American homes; where young children answer “Salaam” when the cell phone rings, while older children travel to the Middle East to meet their future husband or wife; where soccer moms don’t seem to exist, and where girls don’t get to play soccer – or, as some would say, football.HERE. and HERE.