Wednesday, July 6, 2011

USCIS Bragging About Its Incompetency

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is bragging about its Iraqi refugee and asylum program.

U.S. Refugee Admissions Program
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is an inter-agency effort involving a number of governmental and non-governmental partners, both overseas and domestically, whose mission is to resettle refugees in the United States. The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has overall management responsibility for the USRAP and has the lead in proposing admissions numbers and processing priorities.
Within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has responsibility for interviewing refugee applicants and adjudicating applications for refugee status. Through its cooperative agreements with Resettlement Support Centers (RSC) (formerly known as Overseas Processing Entities), PRM handles the intake of refugee referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), U.S. embassies, and certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the prescreening of cases and the out-processing of individuals for travel to the United States.

Iraqi Refugee Processing
Part of the humanitarian mission of the USRAP is to provide resettlement opportunities to especially vulnerable Iraqi refugees. Since large-scale Iraqi refugee processing was announced in February 2007, DHS and DOS have worked cooperatively to increase the number of Iraqi refugees admitted to the United States as part of the worldwide commitment. DHS and DOS have worked closely to enhance processing capacity of Iraqi refugee applicants while ensuring the highest level of security. In support of these efforts, USCIS consistently deploys more than 45-50 officers per quarter to the Middle East to conduct refugee processing circuit rides. To date, USCIS has interviewed more than 101,000 Iraqi refugee applicants.

As a result of this collaboration, the USRAP admitted more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees since large-scale processing began in fiscal year 2007.

Since the inception of the program in 2007, 166,249 Iraqi nationals have been referred to the USRAP for resettlement to the United States. USCIS has interviewed 101,884 Iraqi refugee applicants; approved 84,435 for resettlement and, 58,810 Iraqi refugees have arrived in the United States.

Process for Resettlement
In identifying Iraqi cases for referral to the USRAP, UNHCR and DOS have been prioritizing 11 categories of especially vulnerable refugees, including individuals who are affiliated with the U.S. government and religious minorities, among others.

Iraqi refugees may gain access to this program through referrals from UNHCR, a U.S. Embassy, or certain NGOs. Iraqi nationals, who worked for the U.S. government, a U.S. contractor, or a U.S.-based media organization or NGO, and their family members, can apply directly to the USRAP in Jordan, Egypt and Iraq without a UNHCR referral. In addition, Iraqi applicants will be considered for resettlement if an eligible family member applies on their behalf in the United States. The vast majority of cases processed so far by the USRAP have been referrals from UNHCR.

USCIS officers are interviewing Iraqi refugee applicants primarily in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. Refugee processing in Iraq focuses on certain Iraqis who are associated with the U.S. and their family members.

Determining Eligibility for Refugees
Eligibility for refugee status is decided on a case-by-case basis. A USCIS officer conducts a personal interview of the applicant designed to elicit information about the applicant's admissibility and claim for refugee status. During the interview, the officer confirms the basic biographical data of the applicant; verifies that the applicant was properly given access to the USRAP; determines whether the applicant has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion in his or her home country; determines whether the applicant is admissible to the United States and whether he or she has been firmly resettled in another country; and assesses the credibility of the applicant.

Ensuring Security
We are committed to conducting the most rigorous screening in order to ensure that those being admitted through the refugee program are not seeking to harm the United States. In May 2007, DHS announced and implemented an Administration-coordinated, enhanced background and security check process for Iraqi refugees applying for resettlement in the United States. The security check regime, including both biographic and biometric checks, has been enhanced periodically over the last several years as new opportunities and interagency partnerships with the law enforcement and intelligence communities have been identified. These enhancements are a reflection of the commitment of DHS and other agencies to conduct the most thorough checks possible to prevent dangerous individuals from gaining access to the United States through the refugee program. The latest enhancement to the refugee security check regime involves a new “pre-departure” check shortly before refugees are scheduled to travel to the U.S. It is intended to identify whether any new derogatory information exists since the initial checks were conducted. These pre-departure checks went into effect in late 2010. No case is finally approved until results from all security checks have been received and analyzed.

Procedures for Iraqi Citizens Currently in the U.S.
Iraqis currently in the United States, who are not able to return to Iraq because they have been persecuted or fear that they will be persecuted on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, may apply for asylum with USCIS. Information on the process of applying for asylum in the U.S. can be found on our Web site: www.USCIS.gov/asylum.


Procedures for Iraqi Citizens Living Outside of Iraq
Refugees and asylum seekers should seek to comply with all legal requirements of the country in which they are located, including registration with host governments if required. In addition, all Iraqi asylum seekers located in third countries should register with the nearest UNHCR office.

UNHCR has the international mandate to provide protection and assistance to refugees and may be able to provide a protection document and possibly other assistance if needed. For a small number of extremely vulnerable individuals, this could include referral to the USRAP or another country's resettlement program. UNHCR will identify individuals for resettlement referral based on an assessment of their vulnerability at the time of registration.

In Jordan and Egypt, direct access to the USRAP is available to direct-hire employees of the U.S. Mission in Iraq and other Iraqis who worked for the U.S. government or U.S. government contractors, or for U.S.-based media organizations or NGOs and their family members. Any Iraqi, who has fled to Jordan or Egypt because of his/her association with the U.S., is encouraged to contact the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to receive guidance. IOM can be reached at IC@iom.int. Additional information is on the DOS/PRM web: http://www.state.gov/g/prm/rls/fs2011/163505.htm.

Procedures for Iraqi Citizens Currently in Iraq
In Iraq, direct access to the USRAP is available to direct-hire employees of the U.S. Mission in Iraq and other Iraqis who worked for the U.S. government or U.S. government contractors, or for U.S.-based media organizations or NGOs, and their family members. Any Iraqi, who believes he/she is at risk or has experienced serious harm as a result of association with the U.S., is encouraged to contact the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to receive guidance. IOM can be reached in Iraq at IC@iom.int.

Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis
Iraqi nationals who supported the U.S. armed forces or Chief of Mission authority as translators or interpreters, or Iraqi nationals who were or are employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq on or after March 20, 2003, for a period of at least one year may be eligible for Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) processing. The SIV program is separate and distinct from the USRAP. However, certain Iraqi SIV recipients are eligible for the same resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits as refugees admitted under the refugee program.

Of course, their concern for security is just a lie. USCIS' raison d'etre is the admission of aliens to the United States, not the security and safety of American citizens. To wit, some of their handiwork:

WASHINGTON—An Iraqi citizen who allegedly carried out numerous improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and another Iraqi national alleged to have participated in the insurgency in Iraq have been arrested and indicted on federal terrorism charges in the Western District of Kentucky.

The arrests in Bowling Green, Kentucky and the criminal complaints and indictment unsealed today were announced by Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; David J. Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky; Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Louisville Division; and the members of the Louisville Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, both former residents of Iraq who currently reside in Bowling Green, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green on May 26, 2011. Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq; as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles.

Alwan and Hammadi were arrested on May 25, 2011, on criminal complaints and made their initial appearances today in federal court in Louisville, Ky. Each faces a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted of all the charges in the indictment. Both defendants were closely monitored by federal law enforcement authorities in the months leading up to their arrests. Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States.

“Over the course of roughly eight years, Waad Ramadan Alwan allegedly supported efforts to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, first by participating in the construction and placement of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and, more recently, by attempting to ship money and weapons from the United States to insurgents in Iraq. His co-defendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, is accused of many of the same activities. With these arrests, which are the culmination of extraordinary investigative work by law enforcement and intelligence officials, the support provided by these individuals comes to an end and they will face justice,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

“The filing of these charges in Bowling Green, Kentucky underscores the readiness of federal law enforcement authorities and our partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Forces to effectively pursue and prosecute terrorists wherever in the United States they may be found,” said David J. Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “Whether they seek shelter in a major metropolitan area or in a smaller city in Kentucky, those who would attempt to harm or kill Americans abroad will face a determined and prepared law enforcement effort dedicated to the investigations and prosecutions necessary to bring them to justice. The dismantling of terrorist networks is the first priority of this office and the Department of Justice.”

“These arrests were the culmination of extremely well-coordinated, diligent, and tireless efforts by the FBI and our law enforcement partners working on the JTTFs. My thanks to all those who assisted in this case,” said Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Louisville Division. “I want to remind the public that the FBI is responsible for protecting the civil rights of all persons in our communities. Just as we vigorously investigate terrorism cases, the FBI will vigorously pursue anyone who targets Muslims or their places of worship for backlash-related threats or violence in the wake of these arrests.”

According to the charging documents, Alwan entered the United States in April 2009 and has lived in Bowling Green since his arrival. Hammadi entered the United States in July 2009 and, after first residing in Las Vegas, moved to Bowling Green.

Prior Activities in Iraq

In September 2009, the FBI launched an investigation into Alwan. Later, the FBI began using a confidential human source (CHS) who met with and engaged in recorded conversations with Alwan beginning in August 2010, and with Hammadi beginning in January 2011. In a number of meetings with the CHS, Alwan allegedly discussed his prior activities as an insurgent in Iraq from 2003 until his capture by Iraqi authorities in May 2006, including his use of IEDs and sniper rifles to target U.S. forces and details about various attacks in which he participated.

For example, in recorded conversations with the CHS, Alwan allegedly stated that he used to procure explosives and missiles while an insurgent in Iraq; that his insurgent group conducted strikes daily; and that he used IEDs in Iraq hundreds of times. At one point, Alwan allegedly drew diagrams of four types of IEDs for the CHS and provided verbal instructions on how to build these devices. He also discussed occasions in which he had used these types of IEDs against U.S. troops. Asked whether he had achieved results from these devices in Iraq, Alwan allegedly replied, “Oh yes,” mentioning that his attacks had “f--ked up” Hummers and also targeted Bradley fighting vehicles.

According to the charging documents, the FBI has been able to identify two latent fingerprints belonging to Alwan on a component of an unexploded IED that was recovered by U.S. forces near Bayji, Iraq. Alwan had allegedly advised the CHS that he lived in that area of Iraq and worked at the power plant in Bayji. Alwan had also allegedly told the CHS how he had used a particular brand of cordless telephone base station in IEDs. Alwan’s fingerprints were allegedly found on this particular brand of cordless base station in the IED that was recovered in Iraq.

In additional conversations with the CHS, Alwan also described IED attacks on U.S. troops that he participated in with others, including an associate whom Alwan said had lost an eye when an IED exploded prematurely. According to the charging documents, U.S. forces recovered an unexploded IED near Bayji from which a latent fingerprint belonging to this associate was later recovered. The charging documents allege that this associate was detained by U.S. troops in June 2006 and had a false eye.

The charging documents also allege that Hammadi has discussed his prior experience as an insurgent in Iraq and has told the CHS about prior IED attacks in Iraq in which he participated. In one conversation with the CHS, Hammadi allegedly described how he had been arrested in Iraq, explaining that authorities captured him after the car he was driving in got a flat tire shortly after he and others had placed IEDs in the ground.

Activities in the United States

According to the charging documents, beginning in September 2010, Alwan expressed interest in helping the CHS provide support to terrorists in Iraq. The CHS explained that he shipped money and weapons to the mujahidin in Iraq by secreting them in vehicles sent from the United States. Thereafter, Alwan allegedly participated in operations with the CHS to provide money, weapons—including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Stinger missiles, and C4 plastic explosives—as well as IED diagrams and advice on the construction of IEDs to what he believed were the mujahidin attacking U.S. troops in Iraq.

For instance, in November 2010, Alwan allegedly picked up machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers from a storage facility in Kentucky and delivered them to a designated location believing they would be shipped to al Qaeda in Iraq. In January 2011, the charging documents allege, Alwan recruited Hammadi to assist in the material support activities. Alwan allegedly described Hammadi to the CHS as a relative of his whose work as an insurgent in Iraq was well known.

Later that month, Alwan and Hammadi allegedly delivered money to a tractor-trailer, believing the money would ultimately be shipped to al Qaeda in Iraq. In February 2011, the pair allegedly assisted in the delivery of additional weapons, including sniper rifles and inert C4 plastic explosives, to a tractor-trailer, believing that these items would be shipped to al Qaeda in Iraq. Finally, in March 2011, Alwan and Hammadi allegedly picked up two inert Stinger missiles from the storage facility and delivered them to a tractor-trailer believing these items would be shipped to al Qaeda in Iraq.

Neither the Stinger missiles nor any of the other weapons or money delivered by Alwan or Hammadi in connection with the CHS in the United States were provided to al Qaeda in Iraq, but instead were carefully controlled by law enforcement as part of the undercover operation.

USCIS Refugee Officers, Asylum Officers, and Overseas Adjudications Officers have no training in interview techniques, no language skills, no knowledge of the culture of any particular area, no knowledge of Islamic terrorism and its manifestations, and, more importantly, no motivation to protect Americans from terrorism. USCIS management furthermore has one agenda, and one only, the admission of aliens to the U.S. and they don't care who dies because of it. Their protestations that security is a major concern are nothing more than boob bait for bubbas. Something so simple as a polygraph exam would have stopped this, but stopping immigration to the U.S. is not USCIS's goal.

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