Even as President Trump vowed in a signing ceremony Tuesday to destroy ISIS on the battlefield and rebuilding and ‘have it all paid for by the wicked Saudis,’ a top U.S. medical researcher revealed yesterday that the refugee ban on residents of six predominantly Muslim countries and refugees leaving from those countries has been causing considerable problems.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says he’s heard from his staff about the impact of the refugee ban, he told Fox News’ Todd Starnes, he believes that it’s caused disruption to the hospital of no significant consequence, but said that local officials are feeling “very badly” about it.
“This has been a problem,” Fauci explained. “In our local area in Virginia, we are not in the business of bringing in low income Syrian refugees.”
He said that many local officials feel “very badly” about the travel ban and are saying they are going to do all they can to deal with the added complexity of dealing with those refugees.
The interview comes one day after Trump approved the refugee resettlement program for the Muslim nations in question as part of the “travel ban.”
Websites of some refugee agencies, along with anecdotal stories from immigrant communities, also documented a surge in anxiety in the hours following Trump’s announcement.
On Tuesday, Fauci noted that he and members of his staff believe that Syrians have previously been resettled in the U.S. in large numbers because the Obama administration. “They passed a law that required the Department of Homeland Security to determine whether a refugee posed a security risk. They did that,” he said.
Fauci said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that there have been, “a handful of cases” in which Syrian refugees may have been admitted and were initially “on the way to perpetrating terror.”
But he said that no evidence exists that shows individuals were manipulated by a trained propagandist or some other insider group “as to what they were going to do when they got here.”
Instead, he stressed that in general, refugee resettlement is handled by two organizations: One has the organizational responsibility to prepare the individual for resettlement and provide that individual with services; the other has the organizational responsibility to screen prospective refugees.
With respect to vetting Syrians before they arrive in the U.S., Fauci said there have been a few other incidents, but in all those cases, they were not discovered when individual Syrians arrived in the U.S. He said that individual Syrians that were not deemed as having terrorist tendencies were allowed to enter.
“They were very deliberate in what they were going to do and nobody really tried to vet them because they didn’t realize they were there,” he said.
He added that the refugee screening process is now more robust than ever.
“We made some changes and I believe the process is much more robust than it used to be.”