This week, the Taliban is on the verge of overrunning the entire Ghazni province southwest of Kabul. The government misled the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) by moving district headquarters in an effort to suggest that several Ghazni districts were still under control of the Afghan government. In reality, the Taliban, which is essentially a reflection of much of the population, operates in almost every province.
Mr. President, isn’t it time to end this madness?
Bringing the chaos and death home
The miserable irony is that while nothing in Afghanistan can come close to hurting us, as the Taliban has nowhere near the global reach of a group like Hezbollah, we are bringing Afghans here at a record pace. Just in the first quarter of 2018, we brought in 5,718. At that pace, 2018’s total number will dwarf the recent trend of 12,000 per year. We’ve brought in over 86,000 Afghans since 9/11! In last year’s defense authorization bill, Congress authorized another 3,500 special immigrant visas, which grant refugee status to Afghan officials, despite a SIGAR report showing that half of all the foreign personnel who have gone AWOL in this country after being brought here for training were Afghans. Most are still at large and unaccounted for.
The rise in immigration from Afghanistan reflects a broader trend of importing the Middle East to our country. I counted the number of green cards given out in 2017, the first year of Trump’s presidency, to nationals from 47 majority-Muslim countries, and the total number was up to 167,000. The pace for 2018, based on hard data from the first quarter, seems to be tracking with that rate. This is still a very high level and only very slightly down from Obama’s record year in 2016. Overall, we’ve admitted 2.2 million immigrants from those countries from 2001 through March 31, 2018.
How can anyone look at our throttled-up immigration system and say with a straight face that it serves America’s economic and security interests? 35 of these countries have been identified for years by DHS as “special interest” countries that “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations.” In addition, we also bring in over 150,000 foreign students per year from these same countries.
If you look at the numbers from the countries on Trump’s “travel ban” list, it’s clear they have not slowed down overall. It’s clear that Trump is not coming close to a complete shutoff from countries like Syria, Iran, Sudan, and Somalia. Based on first-quarter data, we are on pace to grant over 4,000 green cards to Yemeni nationals, almost all new arrivals. That is above the baseline level for every year except for the surge in the final two years of Obama. Over 2,000 Somalis were given green cards in the first quarter. That is on pace for the largest intake since 2009. Most of them were adjustments of status, but there was still a healthy number of new arrivals. The same trend holds true for those from Syria – near record numbers of those adjusting status, while new arrivals are down a little but still prominent. We are on pace to bring in roughly 13,000-14,000 Iranians, roughly in line with the recent average. Immigration from Sudan is still coasting at record highs.
To the people of the non-Islamic country of Venezuela, a country that was also on the updated travel ban list, we handed out 2,429 green cards during the first three months of this year. As we’ve warned before, Venezuela has a large Arab diaspora, close ties with Iran, and a leadership that is hooked in with terror financing.
Moreover, immigration has increased from some other predominantly Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. The latter two are the result of the autopilot ratchet created by the amalgamation of the visa lottery and chain migration.
We haven’t even slowed the pace of non-immigrant visas from the supposed travel ban countries. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, just 1,338 visa application from those countries were denied in 2017, and 90 percent of them were because the applicant didn’t qualify.
What exactly is the point of sending our troops into insufferable civil wars across the world if we bring those same people to our shores in record numbers?
Read it all. Vote wisely. And demand Trump stop all immigration from Muslim countries.