“I have seen first-hand the abuse and fraud in the U.S. refugee program…” A recently retired U.S. State Department veteran has published a whistleblower letter in the Chicago Tribune exposing the refugee resettlement program as laden with “fraud” and “abuses.”
Mary Doetsch letter reads as follows:
‘I fully support President Donald Trump‘s executive order that temporarily halts admissions from the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and bans travel from nationals of countries that potentially pose a security risk to the United States; however, I don’t think the action goes far enough. Further, I believe there are many people throughout the country who feel the same way.
As a recently retired 25-year veteran of the U.S. Department of State who served almost eight years as a refugee coordinator throughout the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Cuba, I have seen first-hand the abuses and fraud that permeate the refugee program and know about the entrenched interests that fight every effort to implement much-needed reform.
Despite claims of enhanced vetting, the reality is that it is virtually impossible to vet an individual who has no type of an official record, particularly in countries compromised by terrorism. U.S. immigration officials simply rely on the person’s often rehearsed and fabricated “testimony.” I have personally seen this on hundreds of occasions.
As a refugee coordinator, I saw the exploitations, inconsistencies and security lapses in the program, and I advocated strongly for change. Nonetheless, during the past decade and specifically under the Obama administration, the Refugee Admissions Program continued to expand blindly, seemingly without concern for security or whether it served the best interests of its own citizens.
For instance, the legally questionable resettlement of refugees from Malta to the United States grew substantially, despite the fact that as a European country with a functioning asylum system, “refugees” should have remained there under the internationally accepted concept of “the country of first asylum.” Similarly, the “special” in-country refugee programs in Cuba and Russia continue, although they are laden with fraud and far too often simply admit economic migrants rather than actual refugees.
As an insider who understands its operations, politics and weaknesses, I believe the refugee program must change dramatically and the courts must allow the president to fully implement the order.’
— Mary Doetsch, Wheeling