A federal judge is criticizing the Obama administration over the lack of Syrian Christians being admitted to the United States while people of other religions from the war-torn country are being admitted in disproportional numbers.
The criticism from Judge Daniel Manion can be seen in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals opinion on a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center.
“It is well‐documented that refugees to the United States are not representative of that war‐torn area of the world. Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one‐half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian,” he wrote.
“To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy,” Manion noted.
Government figures show that out of the almost 11,000 Syrian refugees the United States has admitted so far, only 56 were Christian.
Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Christians have fled the country, and many have been slaughtered by the Islamic State.
Manion went on to say that this “is not to suggest that any refugee group is more or less welcome: quite the contrary” but it seems off that the Obama administration would disproportionately admit Christians.
In this court case, the NIJC was requesting that the identities of Tier III terrorist organizations be made publicly available like the identities of Tier I and Tier II terrorist groups that are publicly identified.
Tier III terrorist organizations “tend to be groups about which the U.S. government does not have good intelligence, making it essential that [DHS] be able to obtain information about them during screening interviews that are as focused and complete as possible.”
The government won this case after arguing that Tier III terrorist organizations are exempt from disclosure under FOIA because it would disclose “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations.”
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