Appearing Wednesday on “Democracy Now!” Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim member of the House, called the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act,” which would tighten the refugee vetting process, “irrational.”
Host Amy Goodman got the ball rolling:
“Last week, the House passed legislation that was introduced by Republican lawmakers to, at the moment, stop Iraqi and Syrian refugees from resettling here in the United States. Respond.”
Ellison’s reply contained a rather severe factual error (emphasis ours):
“Well, there was a piece of legislation motivated by fear, motivated by xenophobia, motivated by irrationality. Look, we’ve had 750,000 refugees come into this country since the year 2001. None of them–not one–has been engaged in terrorism. At all…Why then, are we going to revamp our whole refugee resettlement program, which is incredibly rigorous in terms of the vetting process…”
There have been multiple refugees admitted to the United States since 2001 who have been arrested and indicted on terror-related charges.
According to ABC News, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, two refugees from Iraq, were arrested and indicted in 2011 for “allegedly providing assistance to Al Qaeda in Iraq and attempting to send weapons overseas.”
Watch video HERE
More from ABC:
“Alwan has been charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, distributing information about explosives, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to transfer and possess weapons.
Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to transfer and possess weapons.”
Additionally, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) recently released a list of 12 refugees who were arrested and indicted on terror-related charges. Among these cases:
- As pointed out by Breitbart.com, Somalian refugee Ibrahim was sentenced to 15 years in prison for “conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab.”
- Abdurahman Yasin Daud, a Kenyan refugee, was charged in 2015 with attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
- Fazliddin Kurbanov, a refugee from Uzbekistan, was charged with attempting to provide material support to foreign terrorists.
According to U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, Kurbanov:
“…conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil.”
Fox News notes that Kurbanvov allegedly “gathered explosive materials in his Boise apartment.”
The Washington Post fact-checked the “viral claim” that not one refugee has been arrested on terrorism-related charges since 9/11 and gave the bogus claim Two Pinocchios.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have settled in the United States since 2001, only a minute fraction have been tied to terrorist activities.
However, as to Congressman Ellison’s insistence regarding there being “not one” refugee involved in terrorism, the facts simply don’t back him up.