On October 28, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in Chicago issued a ruling in a case involving the federal Freedom of Information Act. The National Immigrant Justice Center of the Heartland Alliance had filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that claimed that the department was refusing to release the identity of known Tier III terrorist organizations, unlike the identities of those that are defined as Tier I and Tier II terror organizations whose identity is known publicly. The NIJC
, a progressive legal firm, says on its website that it is “dedicated to ensuring human rights protections” for immigrants and asylum seekers.
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.”
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of DHS, “These terrorist organizations are defined by law as ‘a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in,’ or has a subgroup which engages in,” terrorist activity. Tier III organizations are also called ‘undesignated terrorist organizations’ because they qualify as terrorist organizations based on their activities alone without undergoing a formal designation process like Tier I and Tier II organizations.” Additionally, DHS argued in the case that Tier III terrorist organizations are exempt from disclosure because it would thus disclose “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations.”
According to DHS, individuals belonging to Tier III groups are more likely than other asylum seekers “to commit violent or otherwise unlawful acts.” The appeals court granted DHS’s assertion that if immigrants become aware of the identity of these Tier III organizations, which the Heartland Alliance made clear it intended to publicize, then members of the groups would “have a very strong incentive to falsify or misrepresent ” their “encounters, activities, or associations” with the terrorist groups.
If immigrants do not know whether a terrorist organization with which they have been associated has been identified by the government, the government argued they are “likely to be less guarded in answering questions about [their] activities or associations with the organization.”
The three empaneled judges agreed with the government that the exemption in FOIA does apply because Heartland Alliance could not “explain what the government would gain by pretending that harmless organizations are actually terrorist groups.”
The goal of the litigation, Heartland Alliance made clear, was to “discredit” the government’s classification of terrorist organizations, according to the court. The “tone and content” of its briefs “signals its disbelief that the government has secrets worth keeping from asylum seekers and their helpers,” wrote the court.
In his concurrence, Judge Daniel Manion wrote that of his “concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country.”
Manion asserted that it is “well-documented” that the refugees are not representative of that “war-torn area of the world.” Ten percent of the Syrian population is Christian and “yet less than one-half of 1 percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian.” According to Newsweek
, Christians in Syria numbered approximately 1.1 million in 2010. Many of them were refugees fleeing Muslim persecution in Iraq and Lebanon. They now number 400,000.
This year, President Barack Obama pronounced that his goal was to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States. By August, that number had been exceeded. Manion wrote that of the almost 11,000 Syrian refugees admitted by the middle of September, only 56 were Christian.
It is well known that Christians and other non-Muslims have suffered murderous persecution
on the part of the Islamic State sect, which has brought together Muslim combatants from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. There are accounts of systematic forced-marriage, rape, and brutalization of Christian and Yazidi girls and women at the hands of Muslim fighters. Men and boys have been given the choice of death or conversion to Islam by the Muslim jihadis. The Islamic State has clearly stated its intention is to “conquer Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women.”
Because of the level of violence, dispossession, and persecution meted out to Christians and Muslims, Christian Syrians would have been expected to incorporate the majority of refugees admitted to the United States. Instead, the near totality of Syrian refugees admitted are Muslim. Judge Manion wrote that Obama administration has no “good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.” Thus, we “remain in the dark as a humanitarian catastrophe continues.”
Pointing out the practice of the Obama administration of failing to provide information to state governments about the persons it is resettling in their jurisdictions, Manion wrote that “the good people of this country routinely welcome immigrants from all over the world. But in a democracy, good data is critical to public debate about national immigration policy.” Manion added that both the courts and the Obama administration “demand high evidentiary burdens for states seeking to keep their citizens safe, and then prevent the states from obtaining that evidence” about refugees and thus a quandary for for state governments.
Observers have pointed out that the Obama administration is bringing thousands of persons into the country but simultaneously conceals information about them and where they are being placed. Muslim history has been marked by migration in the past, and always accompanied by total warfare. One need look only at the history of Hungary, Poland, Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East to see the results of warfare and population upheaval in the Muslim manner. Jews and Christians were allowed to exist, not to prosper, and were given the status of aliens and slaves.
Islam is now reverting to form, eschewing the little tolerance that marks Muslim governance by fits and starts. Sunni Islam, which has Saudi Arabia as its patron and Americans such as Hillary Clinton who abet it, to wage war in the time-honored tradition of Islam, which swept out of the Arabian wastes more than 1000 years ago, and that is responsible for the destruction of Syria. Muslims from Europe and Asia have entered the ranks of the Islamic State hoping to renew the Caliphate that once ruled from Damascus over much of the Islamic world. They are the same who have conducted terrorist raids in Europe and the United States and continue to promise more destruction. Which raises the question: Why does President Obama prefer Muslims over Christians?
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.