With the Trump administration facing an October 1 deadline to determine how many refugees will be allowed to enter the U.S. a group of partisan senators fired off a letter lambasting the “slashing of refugee admissions” and requesting a reversal of President Trump’s crackdown.
Open the doors to more refugees, argued Sens. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) because “refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers” who “do not arrive in the U.S. without first clearing extensive biometric, biographic, intelligence, medical, and law enforcement checks, involving multiple agencies.”
Really? That might be news to Omar Ameen, an Iraqi national and suspected ISIS member, who was arrested on charges of murdering an Iraqi police officer.
According to the Justice Department’s extradition documents, Ameen submitted his refugee application U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in 2012 claiming he was a victim of the violence in Iraq.
Then living in Turkey, Ameen was given approval to come to the U.S. on June 5, 2014. However, the 45-year-old terrorist first returned to Iraq with other ISIS members to murder an Iraqi police officer in the town of Rawah.
As the government’s filings show, it would not have taken extreme effort to uncover the Ameen’s real history.
According to the extradition document, which was filed by McGregor W. Scott, a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of California, witnesses interviewed by the FBI said it was “common knowledge in Rawah, Iraq, that Ameen was a main local figure of AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq) and ISIS.”
In addition, they disclosed that his family “is alleged to be one of five native Rawah families that founded AQI in the region.”
Ameen also lied about his terrorist affiliation in subsequent applications for refugee status and a green card – neither of which were approved since he was placed under government investigation in 2016.
Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the George Washington University Program in Extremism, told The New York Times, “It’s clear there were clear breakdowns in the refugee-vetting system in this case as a lot of the information on him was readily available.”
Hopefully, it will be clear to everyone else that until our vetting system is vastly improved, the number of refugees should by no means be increased.