The chief U.N. bureaucrat running refugee camps in Syria said their process for determining who is a refugee and where they go is so complex that ordinary people simply cannot understand it.
“The details of resettlement are so detailed and so precise that only a few people in Washington ever care about it,” said Jana Mason, UNHCR’s senior adviser for government relations and external affairs. “Now all of a sudden, everybody on the morning news, the evening news, cable news are talking about it. And because it is so complicated and so multi-step, people get it wrong.”
“What’s caught us by surprise is that it’s being parsed in the public domain without all the detailed understanding being out there.”
Perhaps the idiots Mason is referring to simply looked up the actual facts and figures for her department.
According to data from the State Department, just 62 of the 2,550 Syrian refugees that have been resettled in the U.S. since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011 are some denomination of Christian. That 2.4 percent is much lower than the roughly 10 percent of pre-war Syria that was believed to have been Christian.
The disparity is not just in the U.S.
Of the roughly 2 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt who have registered with the UNHCR, only 1.2 percent are Christian, Mason said.
Perhaps there is a good reason for these obviously slanted numbers:
Why the discrepancy?
“We don’t know,” she said. “We don’t want to speculate.”
Some members of Congress have an idea of what the U.N. is up to:
Possible explanations for the disproportionate refugee numbers are just “poor excuses,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House’s subcommittee on global human rights.
“Clearly, there’s a discriminatory process that excludes Christians,” he told The Hill on Friday. “It needs to be changed.”
“The discrimination manifests in that they’re not getting food, the medicines, the shelter that they absolutely deserve,” Smith added. “So it’s twice offended: first by groups like ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and then as refugees, as they are part of that refugee flow.”
The Obama Administration has turned over vast amounts of the refugee vetting to the United Nations. This is why the vast majority of refugees from Syria and the rest of the war-torn Middle East are Muslims rather than Christians who actually face persecution in their homelands and have an actual fear of death.
Multiple lawmakers have called for the Obama administration to declare both Christians and members of the small Yazidi community victims of genocide, which could lead to additional legal levers to support them.
Others have openly wondered whether the U.S. ought to turn to outside non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to refer refugees to the State Department, instead of going through the U.N.
“If UNHCR won’t reform itself, well then let’s make sure we have an NGO that can process these people, find them and help to bring them to safety,” Smith said on Friday.