“Tens of thousands”of fraudulent refugees from Africa bought their way into the United States since the late 1990s and are still living here, a CNN investigation reported this month.
Kenyans, posing as persecuted Somalis, told the news network how they and their families came to the U.S. and used food stamps and other public services for years.
“I feel bad for (the real refugees), but at the same time it is all about first come, first served,” one Kenyan said.
Abuse of the African resettlement program was uncovered in 2008. The Bush administration halted admission of “P-3” (Third Priority, Family Reunification) refugees after DNA tests by the State Department revealed a nearly 90 percent fraud rate in the system.
The program restarted in 2012, reportedly with tighter DNA screening. The Trump administration maintains its enhanced vetting system is vigorous.
But for African “facilitators” — middlemen who take and distribute bribe money on the continent — it is the first layer of vetting by the Kenyan government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that matters the most.
“At the very beginning, before the applicant even gets to the U.S. embassy vetting, the selection has been done at the UN level,” one facilitator said. He told CNN he has been gaming the UN resettlement system for years.
The CNN report on refugee fraud comes five months after NBC News exposed chronic corruption at UNHCR. Clearly, deep-seated problems are not being fixed.
It’s equally obvious that continued reliance on African governments and a tainted UN agency won’t clean up the mess.
By lowering future annual refugee intakes, the Trump administration may curtail opportunities for fraudsters. Alas, it doesn’t do anything about the tens of thousands of refugees who scammed their way into this country and remain here.