A federal judge has questioned the Obama administration over how few Syrian Christian refugees have been admitted to the United States.
“It is well documented that refugees to the United States are not representative of that war-torn area of the world,” Circuit Judge Daniel Manion wrote. “Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of 1 percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian.”
Of the roughly 11,000 refugees brought here through mid-September, only 56 were Christian, according to data from the Refugee Processing Center.
“To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy,” Manion said.
Manion issued his remarks in a concurring opinion in a decision on a case filed by the Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Heartland organization was seeking the identities of government designated terror groups, which is not made public. The government argued they don’t have good intelligence on these groups “making it essential that DHS obtain information about them during screening interviews.”
The lack of Christian refugees, Manion speculated, might be tied to these terror designations, such as a Christian refugee being tied to a Christian militia and therefore denied entry.
“It is at least possible that incidental affiliation with some Christian militia could lead an immigration officer to deny entry to Syrians on this basis,” he wrote.