Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has offered nothing that would make a positive difference in the lives of ordinary Americans. Instead, he has coasted along using bluster and bigotry, and has always made sure that his supporters know who to blame for all of their troubles.
At first, it was Mexican immigrants, who Trump says are “rapists” and “criminals.” Then it was Muslims, a group the Republican nominee wants to ban from this country.
As his poll numbers continue to tumble, he found another group of which we should all be terrified: refugees.
They’re so dangerous, in fact, that Trump posted this lie today about Hillary Clinton, in all capital letters, referencing a Republican report:
“CLINTON REFUGEE PLAN COULD BRING IN 620,000 REFUGEES IN FIRST TERM AT LIFETIME COST OF OVER $400 BILLION.” https://t.co/COZQNt6KVs
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2016
It should first be noted that the 620,000 figure is based on pure fantasy. As FactCheck.org pointed out today:
Last year, Clinton proposed that the U.S. accept 65,000 refugees from Syria. That was 55,000 more than the 10,000 President Obama authorized for admission from that country for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. In all, Obama authorized the admission of 85,000 refugees from all nations in fiscal 2016, and Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the administration would aim to admit at least 100,000 global refugees in fiscal 2017. To get to 620,000 refugees, the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest assumed that Clinton would do something she has not explicitly said that she would — allow 155,000 refugees into the U.S. each year during her first term as president.
The spray-tanned buffoon also emphasized in his speech that he was in favor of tough screening procedures for those refugees coming into the United States.
“The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today,” Trump said as he read from the teleprompter. “I call it extreme vetting.”
There’s only one problem – it’s already an incredibly thorough process.
As the New York Times reported last year in a story that has been circulating once again today, it takes two years for refugees from places like Syria to be able to come to the U.S.
The Times reports:
Syrians must pass many layers of security checks before being admitted to the United States, a process that can take two years or longer. In most cases, the refugees do not enter the United States until the very end. They are also subject to an additional layer of checks beyond those for refugees of other nationalities; after the Paris attacks, the House voted to further tighten screening procedures. Since 2011, the United States has admitted fewer than 2,000 Syrian refugees.
The newspaper went on to outline a series of 20 different steps – yes, 20! – that refugees must take to have a chance to step foot on American soil. The idea that we will be flooded with refugees from the Middle East is something Trump floats to scare up votes.
It’s also worth noting that that 80 percent of U.S. terror attacks since 9/11 have been carried out by American citizens, not foreign refugees.
Donald Trump’s refugee rhetoric plays well to the base of Americans who are constantly looking for somebody to blame and somebody to fear. But like his previous attempts to scapegoat Mexicans and Muslims, this simply does not stand up to scrutiny.
If anything, it is the Republican nominee that makes me question the vetting process we have for potential presidential candidates.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.