Democrats Want To “Dramatically Increase” Number Of Syrian Refugees Being Brought To U.S.

Democrats Call For ‘Flood’ Of Muslims To U.S. – WorldNetDaily

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A group of 14 Democrat senators has written a letter to President Obama urging him to “dramatically increase” the number of Syrian refugees being resettled into American cities and towns.

They say the U.S. needs to take in at least 65,000 Syrians as permanent refugees over the next year-and-a-half.

“While the United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees, we must also dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees that we accept for resettlement,” says the four-page letter to Obama, copied to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

More than 3.5 million Syrians are registered with the United Nations as refugees, and the U.N. wants to assign about 350,000 of them to so-called “third-party countries.”

The 14 senators, led by Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., cite the research of the Refugee Council USA to make their case for 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. RCUSA is the main lobbying arm of the nine agencies that contract with the federal government to resettle refugees in cities and towns across America.

The more refugees brought into the country, the more government grants doled out to the nine resettlement agencies. Among them are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Church World Service, International Rescue Committee and the National Association of Evangelicals’ World Relief.

More than 90 percent of Syrian refugees will be Muslim

Of the 843 Syrians resettled in the U.S. since the start of the Syrian civil war, 92 percent have been Muslim and about 7 percent Christian. Syria’s overall population is 90 percent Muslim and close to 10 percent Christian.

“The vast majority of these refugees are women and children, including two million children,” the letter states, using language similar to what Democrats used to justify the entry of some 60,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last year. “An entire generation of Syrian children is at risk.

“More than ten thousand Syrian children have been killed, and half of Syrian refugee children are not attending school, more than one-hundred thousand are working to support their families, and thousands are unaccompanied or separated from their parents.

“[W]e urge your Administration to work to accept at least 50 percent of Syrian refugees whom UNCHR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] is seeking to resettle, consistent with our nation’s traditional practice under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.”

The letter also addresses the security concerns about accepting Syrians who may have ties to the various Islamic extremist factions fighting to overthrow and replace Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Among them are ISIS, Jabat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army.

“We fully support your Administration’s efforts to ensure that any potential security concerns are addressed by strengthening security checks for refugees with the latest technology and information,” the letter states.

“Refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers to the U.S., with extensive biometric, biographic, intelligence, and law enforcement checks involving numerous agencies,” the letter says, parroting the U.S. State Department talking points about the quality of the screening process for refugees.

The problem with that argument, however, is that it has been debunked by FBI counter-terrorism experts who have openly admitted it is virtually impossible to screen Syrian refugees, precisely because U.S. agents don’t have access to reliable biometric and law enforcement data. As WND previously reported, Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI counter-terrorism unit, admitted at a hearing before the House Homeland Security committee on Feb. 11 that reliable records are not available in a “failed state” like Syria.

The House Homeland Security Committee was schedule to hold another hearing this week on the national security risks associated with the Syrian refugees, but that hearing was postponed Thursday until further notice.

The letter being sent to Obama makes the upcoming House hearing even more pivotal as the battle over this issue heats up on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats pushing for more Syrians and Republicans pushing for less.

‘A serious mistake’

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, says resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. is a “serious mistake” and should be stopped until safeguards are in place.

“We have no way… to know who these people are, and so I think bringing them in is a serious mistake,” said McCaul during a press conference Thursday.

McCaul said the U.S. has “no intelligence footprint or capability” inside Syria to ensure refugees mean no harm.

“We don’t have databases on these individuals so we can’t properly vet them,” he added, “to know where they came from, to know what threat they pose, because we don’t have the data to cross-reference them with.”

McCaul, who has visited Syrian refugee camps overseas, said that while there are “a lot of mothers and kids, there are [also] a lot of males of the age that could conduct terrorist operations.”

“That concerns me,” he added.

‘Give me your tired…’

The U.S. takes in more refugees than any other country by far. In the current fiscal year it has committed to accept 70,000 and some years it has been as high as 200,000. Almost all of the refugees coming to the U.S. are selected by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

Also playing against the Democratic senators argument is the recent string of arrests of Somali refugees and children of Somali refugees. Just last month six Somali young men were arrested and charged with trying to leave the country to fight for ISIS. Two of them used their college student loan money to pay for plane tickets to Turkey.

Dozens of others have gone to fight with al-Shabab in Somalia and still others have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing money or other material support to overseas terrorist organizations.

Somalia, like Syria, is a failed state where the U.S. has no military presence and no access to reliable law enforcement data.

“This issue has obviously come up before. We’ve had a bunch of people who have come in as refugees and committed terrorist acts, or tried to commit terrorist acts,” said Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. “But I think the underlying question is, one, the ability to vet people from a war-torn country that had poor record keeping to begin with is virtually nonexistent now. There’s simply no way to know what people have done in the past from a country like Syria.

“All we know about Syria is that powerful and well-organized terrorist groups operate throughout the country,” he said.

Lessons learned or mistakes repeated?

Even if they could be adequately screened, experience proves that the children of Muslim immigrants are sometimes more in danger of being radicalized than their parents, Camarota said.

He points to numerous recent cases like that of Hoda Muthana, the 19-year-old daughter of Muslim parents who emigrated from Yemen more than 20 years ago and settled in Birmingham, Alabama. She left to fight for ISIS in November after being recruited over the Internet. Her parents have been “traumatized” by losing their oldest daughter, according to an article by AL.com.

The fact that some arrive as “children” is also no guarantee against radicalization. Some are radicalized in American mosques after they grow into teens and young adults.

That’s what happened to the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing. They came as asylum seekers as young boys with their parents from war-torn Chechnya.

“Unfortunately, a number of people who have come as refuges became radicalized after they arrived in the United States, including the Tsarnaev brothers. The younger brother, who just got convicted, was a young boy when he arrived with his family,” Camarota said.

“We’ve had a number from Somalia who have gone to fight for ISIS or al-Shabab who came to America at young ages,” he added. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a number of cases where people have been radicalized after they got here from Somalia.”

There is an alternative that low-immigration advocates such as Camarota say could be more effective in helping the plight of true refugees.

“We can help countries in the region resettle these folks, provide resources to countries like Jordan, and countries like Saudi Arabia, which is a rich country with lots of space,” he said. “And because they would be close to their home countries they could return once the war is over.”

Resettling refugees costs the American taxpayer $1.5 billion a year, and that does not include the cost of social welfare benefits. Unlike other immigrants, refugees immediately qualify for government benefits such as food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, or TANF, subsidized housing and Medicaid health care.

“Instead, that money could be used to help a lot more people resettle in the Middle East region, making it more likely that their life would be less disrupted and they would be more likely to return home,” Camarota said. “We could help more people and make it more likely rather than bring a tiny number here at huge costs and bring these risks to national security.”

Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said taking in more Syrian refugees poses risks that must be balanced against humanitarian concerns.

“Welcoming more Syrian refugees to the U.S. would be a generous move to make, so long as they can be vetted to exclude any who identify with a jihadist ideology or worse yet, are jihadis themselves,” she said. “It would also make sense to be sure we select for those who will most easily assimilate to America’s Judeo-Christian-based legal system and Western-style democratic society.”

While the lobbying organization National Council of Refugees USA, refers to itself as nonprofit and bipartisan, refugee watchdog Ann Corcoran doesn’t buy it.

She said conservatives shouldn’t be fooled by the “church sounding names.”

“Looking at this list they all appear to be from the hard left,” said Corcoran, who follows the refugee movement at her blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch.

The senators’ letter closes by saying: “[I]t is a moral, legal, and national security imperative for the United States to lead by example in addressing the world’s worst refugee crisis of our time by greatly increasing the number of Syrian refugees who are resettled in our country. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

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Obamanomics: Major U.S. Retail Chains Closing 6,000 Stores

Retail Apocalypse: Major Chains Closing 6,000 Stores – WorldNetDaily

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The long feared “retail apocalypse” may be hitting with little or no fanfare if a growing list of store-closing plans by major chains is any indication.

Major U.S. retailers have announced the closing of more than 6,000 stores from coast to coast. The list includes only those retailers that have announced plans to close more than 10 outlets this year and next.

For example, 1,784 Radio Shack stores are vanishing, 400 stores in the Office Depot/Office Max chain by 2016, and 340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar stores.

The growing list of stores getting shuttered coincides with the decline in discretionary consumer spending over the past six months.

“Expect to see more storefronts closed at malls across the country,” one retail watcher told WND. “It’s getting ugly out there.”

Another factor, the source said, is that Americans’ credit is maxed out – a problem that will impact holiday season sales later this year. Add the demand of rising taxes, housing and health-insurance costs and you’ve got a formula for belt-tightening across the board.

Expected to be hit hardest by the trend are poorer- and lower-middle class neighborhoods. The recent riots in Baltimore are expected to make retailers even more skittish.

See the big list:

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U.S. Economy Slows To A Crawl As GDP Grows A Scant 0.2% In First Quarter

U.S. Economic Growth Nearly Stalls Out – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. economy slowed to a crawl at the start of the year as businesses slashed investment, exports tumbled and consumers showed signs of caution, marking a return to the uneven growth that has been a hallmark of the nearly six-year economic expansion.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, expanded at a 0.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The economy advanced at a 2.2% pace in the fourth quarter and 5% in the third.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected growth of 1% in the first three months of this year, though many were braced for a surprise to the downside.

The latest reading on the economy came hours before Federal Reserve officials released their policy statement, in which they said slower growth reflected, in part, “transitory factors.” The Fed gave no new explicit clues on the timing of interest-rate increases, but the slower growth made the timing a bit more uncertain.

The first-quarter figures repeat a common pattern in recent years: one or two strong readings followed by a sharp slowdown. First-quarter GDP growth had averaged 0.6% since 2010 and 2.9% for all other quarters. That has worked out to moderate overall expansion but no growth breakout.

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“This is another quarterly number which confirms the long-term slow-growth thesis, but there are good odds we get a bit of a bounce later in the year from stabilized business spending and the housing markets, which are setting up quite promising,” Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, said in a note to clients.

Last year, economists pinned much of the blame for a bad first quarter – GDP shrank 2.1% – on unusually harsh weather. This year, multiple factors appear to be at work, including another bout of blizzards, disruptions at West Coast ports, the stronger dollar’s effect on exports and the impact of cheaper oil.

Better weather, a return to normal at port terminals and steadying investment could boost growth later this year.

“We expect the economy will rebound in [the second quarter] and beyond, similar to last year,” said Michelle Girard, economist at RBS Securities.

But not all the factors behind the slowdown appear temporary. A stronger dollar and cheaper oil could persist, keeping exports and energy-sector investment at bay.

As well, rising inventories kept the U.S. economy out of recession, contributing 0.74 percentage point to GDP in the first quarter. A second-quarter repeat is unlikely.

Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, said producers probably will allow inventory positions to run off rather than building them up even more. “This tells us that current-quarter growth is likely to run around 2.5%, not the 4% snapback we had previously been anticipating,” he said.

U.S. households will have to pick up spending to help the economy grow. Wednesday’s report showed consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic output, decelerated to a 1.9% pace in the first quarter, down from 4.4% growth in the fourth quarter.

Rather than using savings from cheaper gasoline to buy more goods and services, Americans have been setting money aside for a rainy day. The personal saving rate at 5.5% in the first quarter was the highest since 2012. The figure was 4.6% in the fourth quarter.

Another key driver of the economy, business spending, also has faltered of late. Nonresidential fixed investment – which reflects spending on software, research and development, equipment and structures – retreated at a 3.4% rate, compared with a 4.7% rise in the fourth quarter.

Energy companies in particular are feeling the effects of cheaper oil. Business investment in structures fell 23.1%, led by a 48.7% contraction for mining sector spending on shafts and wells, Commerce said.

A stronger dollar, meanwhile, has made domestically produced goods more expensive overseas and foreign products cheaper inside the U.S. Combined with disruptions at West Coast ports, trade was constrained. In the first quarter, exports fell at a 7.2% rate, compared with 4.5% growth in the fourth quarter. Imports rose 1.8%, compared with 10.4% in the fourth quarter.

Federal government spending added little to the economy in the first quarter, expanding 0.3%, compared with a 7.3% fall in the fourth quarter.

Real final sales of domestic product, a measure that excludes changes to inventories, shrank at a 0.5% pace, compared with a 2.3% rise in the fourth quarter.

Alongside weak growth in the quarter, prices fell.

The price index for personal consumption expenditures – the Fed’s preferred measure for inflation – declined at a 2% annual rate, well below the central bank’s 2% inflation growth target. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy components, were up 0.9%, the lowest level since 2010.

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*VIDEO* Ted Cruz Explains Why Loretta Lynch Is Unfit To Be U.S. Attorney General


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Impeachable Offenses Update: Obama Using Taxpayer Money To Fly Central American Minors To U.S.

Obama Escalates Cultural Genocide – Moonbattery

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It isn’t enough to invite illegal aliens to invade the USA in their numberless hordes and then quickly distribute them along with their exotic diseases throughout the country. Obama is now using your money to fly them directly from Central America, so as to save them the bother of traveling through Mexico:

To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the Obama administration is offering free transportation from three Central American countries and a special refugee/parole program with “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency…

The new arrivals will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The project is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.

Readers will recall that DHS was originally set up to defend the homeland. Under the Orwellian Obama Regime, it is in charge of orchestrating an invasion of the homeland.

After Pearl Harbor, some feared a Japanese invasion. It would have been preferable to what is happening to us now. If the Imperial Japanese had successfully invaded, they would have ruled for a time, but eventually would have been kicked out. The current invaders aren’t going anywhere, and they reproduce much faster than Americans.

Plus the Japanese never expected us to pay them to invade us:

The candidates will then be granted a special refugee parole, which includes many taxpayer-funded perks and benefits. Among them is a free education, food stamps, medical care and living expenses…

A State Department official promoted CAM as a “family reunification” program that will be completely funded by American taxpayers, though the official claimed to have no idea what the cost will be.

Who can put a price on the future?

The fig leaf of “refugees” being allowed into the country ahead of immigrants likely to make a positive contribution because their lives are supposedly in danger has been dropped.

The State Department official assured that applicants need not express or document a credible fear to qualify under CAM because “we want to make sure this program is open to as many people as possible.”

Consider this as part of the bigger picture of what is being done to America, and it goes beyond treason. It is cultural genocide.

Our rulers know exactly what they are doing. From the official federal propaganda outfit Voice of America:

America’s demographics are changing like never before. In less than 30 years, whites will no longer be the racial majority in the United States.

On the large scale, race and culture are inseparable. Americans are effectively becoming a minority within our own country. Our own democracy will be used against us to relegate us to a permanent second class status (as South Africa demonstrates, whites being a minority hardly spares them from Affirmative Action).

Working and middle class whites are becoming a slave class that toils to provide benefits to the Third Worlders imported to empower the ruling class of elitist liberals. Eventually intermarriage will breed the last of our kind out of existence, as VOA happily implies:

In 1960, multiracial marriages accounted for only 0.4 percent of all marriages in the United States. By 2010, that figure rose to 8.4 percent, with interracial couples accounting for 15 percent of all new marriages – a trend that experts say will only continue.

The VOA piece was given the Orwellian title, “Experts: Coming Demographic Shift Will Strengthen US Culture.” What they mean by this is that the deliberately engineered demographic shift will erase US culture, so that it can be replaced by a multicultural utopia preconceived by cultural Marxists.

It used to be genocide meant herding unwanted demographic sectors into gas chambers. But that was crude and inefficient. Simply diluting us out of existence can be done without mess – and incredibly, without resistance.

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Maryland Obamacare Exchange Wrongly Billed U.S. Taxpayers $28M

MD’s Exchange Wrongly Billed U.S. Taxpayers $28M – Sweetness & Light

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From the United Press International:

Audit shows Maryland health exchange improperly billed $28.4 million

March 27, 2015

WASHINGTON (UPI) – Maryland’s health insurance exchange improperly billed the federal government $28.4 million, a Department of Health and Human Services audit reported Friday.

In another patented Friday evening news dump.

An inspector general’s probe found a lack of oversight and internal controls, not criminal wrongdoing, was the cause of the exchange’s problems since the marketplace opened in 2013.

Their incompetence seems to border on criminality.

The Maryland Health Connection was among the first state exchanges approved by the federal government, but its website crashed on its first day of operation and it experienced numerous software problems and feuds between contractors.

The entire technological infrastructure of the exchange was scrapped in 2014 and replaced by a platform used by Connecticut’s exchange.

In other words, it was a typical Obama-Care success story. By the way, wouldn’t Maryland’s governor make a great President?

The audit said the state used a 2013 and 2014 federal grant to cover the exchange’s costs when it should have used funds from a Medicaid program jointly financed by Maryland and the federal government…

We’re sure it was an innocent mistake. The state wouldn’t want to try to cheat the federal taxpayers in other states.

The audit found two accounting errors, a $15.9 million misallocation caused by out-of-date enrollment data, and $12.5 million through an unidentified contractor’s incorrect calculations.

It recommended Maryland pay back the $28.4 million, then apply for the actual amount due it from the federal government…

Don’t hold your breath.

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Evil Leftist Parasite Finally Retires From U.S. Senate (Video)

Reid Announces Retirement, GOP Campaign Committee Does Early Victory Lap – Big Government

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will not be seeking re-election in 2016.

The former majority leader, who has been a top target for Republican ire, released a video message Friday citing his New Year’s Day exercise injuries, saying they provided him “down time.”

“I have had time to ponder and to think,” he explained. “We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than us. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election.”

While the powerful Nevada Democrat said the accident gave him time to think, he stressed that the decision was not due to the injury.

“The decision that I’ve made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, it has nothing to do with my being minority leader and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected because the path to re-election is much easier than probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election,” he said.

Reid’s departure from the Senate in 22 months will end a three decade tenure in the Senate. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Before that, he served two terms in the House of Representatives.

His announcement comes the same week a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report criticized Deputy DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over providing immigration benefits for the politically connected. The report named named Reid as a beneficiary of Mayorkas’ influence.

Following the announcement Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee offered an early victory dance, arguing that Reid was set to lose his re-election after losing the majority last cycle.

“Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate,” NRSC executive director Ward Baker said.

He added that the Nevada race is now a hot ticket for Republicans.

“With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”

Meanwhile Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) praised Reid’s tenure and signaled Democrats would put up a fight in Nevada.

“There is a talented pool of Nevada Democrats who are ready to step up to the plate, and we will recruit a top-notch candidate in Nevada who will be successful in holding this seat in 2016,” he said.

Watch:

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