The following letter was written to the morning hosts of WCRF Radio in Cleveland in relation to President Trump's immigration policy and the refugee issue.
Brian and Kathleen:
I happened to catch your program on Friday and Monday mornings when you were discussing the President's executive order on immigration. Several issues come to mind. The President has the responsibility of protecting the citizens of the United States. It was with this in mind that he enacted this order on immigration. As President, he is not alone; his predecessors did similarly. President Obama enacted a six-month ban on Iraqi immigrants in 2011. President Carter also enacted a ban, as did Presidents Bush and Clinton. You probably have seen the video online of President Clinton in his 1996 State of the Union address, underscoring the reasons why he was enacting restrictions on immigration from some countries, given the security threat.
The hysteria over the last few days is seeded mostly in political opposition to President Trump and his administration. He has every reason to take a time out by putting restrictions in place until a better vetting process can be implemented. Our organization has worked with Senator Rob Portman and other members of the U.S. Senate to seek relief and aid to the refugees in Northern Iraq, primarily Iraqi Christians that have had to flee the terror army ISIS that invaded in early August of 2014. What is frustrating is that the Obama Administration would not open a visa processing center in Erbil, close to where these refugees were seeking refuge in Kurdish territory. We have worked closely with the Chaldean Christian community here in America to send aid and support and draw attention to the plight of these refugees who have had to flee the terror army ISIS. Most of them have fled the Mosul area, a city the size of Columbus, Ohio, originally with 600,000 residents. A large Christian population was there when ISIS invaded and announced the caliphate. There was a great inequity during the Obama Administration of the amount of Christians who certainly met the criteria of refugee status and were being persecuted in their homelands but yet were denied.
Here are the numbers – The Obama administration resettled 13,210 Syrian refugees into the United States in 2016 — an increase of 675 percent over the same 10 month period in 2015.
Of those, 13,100 (99.1 percent) are Muslims — 12,966 Sunnis, 24 Shi'a, and 110 other Muslims — and 77 (0.5 percent) are Christians. Another 24 (0.18 percent) are Yazidis. It is well known that the Obama administration would not give deference to Christians that were being persecuted in any of the affected countries. In fact, when France offered to take in 5,000 refugees from Iraq in August of 2014, the Obama administration blocked members of the European Union from taking in refugees from Iraq. It was never explained why this was happening. Our organization worked closely with the Chaldean Christian community in Greater Detroit and with Senator Portman's office, attempting to get an answer from the Obama Administration for their reasoning, only to be met with frustration. The major media did not care. Consequently, it did not come up as a topic of discussion on talk shows like yours.
President Trump has emphasized that he will indeed help Christians that are being persecuted.
One other item, and I must emphasize this – it was repeated by Kathleen and by Matthew Sorenson of World Relief that no refugees have ever committed a terrorist attack against Americans. That is not the case. Most recently, and close to home here in Ohio, the Ohio State University knife attack on eleven Americans was carried out by a Somalian refugee. The San Bernadino attackers, Farook and Malik, were Muslims who came in on visas, but Malik falsified her form; she didn't want it to be known that her family had ties to known terrorist groups in Pakistan. More vigorous vetting may have discovered that she had falsified her form.
I would be happy to be a guest on your program to discuss further the plight of Iraqi Christians and what can be done on their behalf in the new Administration.
Christopher R. Long
President, Ohio Christian Alliance
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