Donald Trump, Jr. has been under fire the past few days for an analogy he made about Syrian refugees. “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you that just three would kill you – would you take a handful?” an image posted to his Twitter read. “That’s our Syrian refugee problem” it concluded.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
As I pointed out on Twitter, Trump, Jr.’s meme bore a striking resemblance to a feminist meme from a few years ago. When the logic was applied to generalize all men, liberals didn’t seem to be outraged.
Now, back to the Skittles analogy. The number of refugees who are ISIS members slipping through the cracks may be few in number, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not a real threat. We’ve been warning of this for some time, as ISIS has explicitly stated this is one of their key strategies for infiltrating the West — and, in fact, is an age-old Islamic strategy of al hijra.
— Matt Palumbo (@MattPalumbo12) September 20, 2016
Today, even the Obama administration finally admitted as much. As the Washington Examiner reported: State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged Wednesday that Islamic State terrorists are trying to mingle with refugee populations overseas in the hopes of making it to the U.S. posing as a refugee.
“I wouldn’t debate the fact that there’s the potential for ISIS terrorists to try to insert themselves, and we see that in some of the refugee camps in Jordan and in Turkey, where they try to insert themselves into the population,” Kirby said on “Fox and Friends.”
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) September 21, 2016
Still, he argued that the vetting process for these refugees is tough, and should be enough to keep terrorists out, although he admitted it’s not a perfect process. “The vetting process, while not perfect, is a very, very stringent, and it can take almost up to two years for a single refugee to make it into the country,” he said.
He said in the same interview: “Is it perfect? Can it be perfect? Can it be foolproof? Well, probably not, no.”
The possibility of terrorists slipping through the cracks is the most common objection we hear to refugee resettlement, but there’s a better argument worth presenting. If we really do want to help refugees, it would make much more sense to resettle them in the Middle East (five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have refused refugees due to fears of terrorism, by the way) from an efficiency standpoint. The one year cost of resettling a Middle Eastern refugee is $12,874 in the U.S. – but only $1,057 in the Middle East. That means for the cost of the 10,000 refugees we resettled domestically, we could’ve helped 121,797 abroad.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]