680,000 Green Cards Given to Immigrants of Muslim Countries



The United States has issued 680,000 green cards to immigrants of Muslim-majority countries, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The green cards were issued within the last five years and will be reissued again in five years. Among the people who received green cards are individuals who entered the United States as refugees.

The data, released by Senator Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) , adds that these, “refugees have instant access to federal welfare and entitlements, along with local benefits and education services; these costs are not offset.”

The release from Sessions notes that “Assuming no change in visa policy, the U.S. can expect to give green cards to another 680,000 more migrants from these countries over the next five years… A green card entitles recipients to access federal benefits, lifetime residency, work authorization, and a direct route to becoming a U.S. citizen.”

The number, 680,000 isn’t “an estimate of total migration, as it does not include temporary migrants who return home, nor is it an estimate of population change, as it does not include births or deaths, among other considerations.”

President Obama has also directed his administration to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees by 2016.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one-quarter of the U.S. population, over 41 million, is now either foreign-born or has foreign-born parents. Data from Pew Polling shows that 83% percent of the American public oppose increasing the baseline for immigration and believe that it should either be frozen or reduced.

Below is a list of the green cards given out from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2013:

Pakistan (83K), Iraq (83K), Bangladesh (75K), Iran (73K), Egypt (45K), Somalia (31K), Uzbekistan (24K), Turkey (22K), Morocco (22K), Jordan (20K), Albania (20K), Lebanon (16K), Yemen (16K), Indonesia (15K), Syria (14K), Sudan (13K), Afghanistan (11K), Sierra Leone (10K), Guinea (8K), Senegal (7K), Saudi Arabia (7K), Algeria (7K), Kazakhstan (7K), Kuwait (5K), Gambia (5K), United Arab Emirates (4K), Azerbaijan (4K), Mali (3K), Burkina Faso (3K), Kyrgyzstan (3K), Kosovo (3K), Mauritania (2K), Tunisia (2K), Tajikistan (2K), Libya (2K), Turkmenistan (1K), Qatar (1K), Chad (1K)





President Obama’s open-door immigration policy is set to accept more immigrants from Muslim nations over the next five years than the entire population of Washington, D.C., according to federal documents.

Figures from the Department of Homeland Security show that the president has already issued 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim nations over the past five years. Unless Congress changes his policy, that number will be repeated in the next five years.

What’s more, the president is also planning to add over 100,000 more with refugee status, many from Syria. Refugees can also petition the government for their relatives.

DHS data released by the Sen. Jeff Sessions’ Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, noted that refugees, who must apply for a green card within one year, have instant access to federal welfare and entitlements, along with local benefits and education services; these costs are not offset.

The DHS number of 680,000 does not include temporary migrants who return home nor births or deaths.

The subcommittee said that “assuming no change in visa policy, the U.S. can expect to give green cards to another 680,000 more migrants from these countries over the next five years. A green card entitles recipients to access federal benefits, lifetime residency, work authorization, and a direct route to becoming a U.S. citizen.”

That is a group bigger than Washington, D.C.’s population of 658,893.

And it could grow far more. The Census Bureau suggests that migration from the Middle East is fast growing.

Immigration is one of the most controversial topics in the nation due to Obama’s policies on undocumented children and parents and lately his plan to settle up to 85,000 Syrian refugees. Several governors and the House have caused for a pause on the program due to concerns it will let terrorists pretending to be Syrians into the U.S.

Already, the foreign-born population in the United States is at a record 41.3 million.

Critics are considering limits to green cards and student visas,

“Without such changes, the Census Bureau projects that, for each coming year the total number of immigrants in the United States will increase, the annual rate of immigrant admissions will increase, and the foreign-born share of the population will increase,” said the Alabama Republican’s subcommittee release.

“Pew polling data shows that 83 percent of the public (across all parties) opposes this baseline and believes the level of immigration should either be frozen or reduced. By a nearly 10-1 margin, Americans of all backgrounds are united in their shared belief that companies with positions to fill should raise wages instead of bringing in new lower-wage labor from abroad. And yet, despite this, the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill would have tripled the issuance of green cards over the next decade, and this year’s I-Squared bill would substantially increase both low-wage guest worker admissions and green card allotments – all on top of the existing record-breaking and unprecedented growth in future immigration,” it added.

Green Card Totals, FY09-FY13:

Pakistan (83K), Iraq (83K), Bangladesh (75K), Iran (73K), Egypt (45K), Somalia (31K), Uzbekistan (24K), Turkey (22K), Morocco (22K), Jordan (20K), Albania (20K), Lebanon (16K), Yemen (16K), Indonesia (15K), Syria (14K), Sudan (13K), Afghanistan (11K), Sierra Leone (10K), Guinea (8K), Senegal (7K), Saudi Arabia (7K), Algeria (7K), Kazakhstan (7K), Kuwait (5K), Gambia (5K), United Arab Emirates (4K), Azerbaijan (4K), Mali (3K), Burkina Faso (3K), Kyrgyzstan (3K), Kosovo (3K), Mauritania (2K), Tunisia (2K), Tajikistan (2K), Libya (2K), Turkmenistan (1K), Qatar (1K), Chad (1K)

PAPER: 150 on flight from Mexico allowed to skip customs, leave JFK airport…

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BY ,

What airheads!

Airline and security officials at Kennedy Airport let 150 passengers arriving from an international flight leave the airport without going through customs, the Daily News has learned.

American Airlines Flight 1671 arrived at JFK from Cancun, Mexico, at 8:50 p.m. Friday.


When the plane landed, passengers walked out of the airport without having their passports or bags checked by Customs and Border Protection, sources told The News.

A source familiar with the matter said passengers disembarking the plane “just followed” a gate agent. The security snafu came just two days after ISIS released a video threatening New York City with a terrorist attack.

“Some passengers on Flight 1671 did not complete immigration and customs process upon arrival when they were inadvertently directed to the domestic terminal,” American Airlines said in a statement.


American Airlines contacted the passengers and directed them to return to JFK for customs processing. An official told The News on Sunday that 144 passengers had returned to the airport and gone through customs. The six that remain are all U.S. citizens, the official said.

The American Airlines flight arrived at JFK from Cancun, Mexico.MARY ALTAFFER/AP

The American Airlines flight arrived at JFK from Cancun, Mexico.

American Airlines is working with Customs and Border Protection to ensure they “complete the process and to prevent this from happening in the future,” the company also said in the statement.

“None of us went through immigration or customs,” a passenger told The News, adding, “There were no signs for customs or anything. The only signs we saw were baggage claim and exit.”

The passenger complained Saturday that agents have “been harassing me with phone calls — they’re coming from high-up people at American Airlines, (Transportation Security Administration) and customs . . . . They’re very aggressive.” Another passenger also said that agents had been reaching out constantly.


American Airlines contacted the passengers and directed them to return to JFK for customs processing.DELMUNDO, ANTHONY FREELANCE NYDN/ANTHONY DELMUNDO

American Airlines contacted the passengers and directed them to return to JFK for customs processing.

“They’re telling me that I am here illegally, that I’m trespassing!” the passenger said. “They said, ‘If you don’t come in Monday, we’re sending FBI agents to your house.’ ”

Both passengers said they had to come from Connecticut to JFK to clear things up.

A spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency is “aware of and looking into the incident and is working with our counterparts to resolve it.”

The TSA, which screens passengers before they fly, declined comment, while the Port Authority said that the clearing of arriving international travelers is a federal responsibility. The airlines, it said, direct travelers to security areas. With Graham Rayman


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UPDATE: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed that eight Syrians were taken into custody at the Laredo port of entry. 

Two federal agents operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are claiming that eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. The federal agents spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity, however, a local president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) confirmed that Laredo Border Patrol agents have been officially contacting the organization with concerns over reports from other federal agents about Syrians illegally entering the country in the Laredo Sector. The reports have caused a stir among the sector’s Border Patrol agents.

The sources claimed that eight Syrians were apprehended on Monday, November 16, 2015. According to the sources, the Syrians were in two separate “family units” and were apprehended at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge in Laredo, Texas, also known officially as Port of Entry 1.

Border Patrol agent and NBPC Local 2455 President Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas, “Border Patrol agents who we represent have been contacting our organization to voice concerns about reports from other agents that Syrians crossed the U.S. border from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. Our agents have heard about Syrians being apprehended in the area from other federal agents.” Agent Garza added, “At this time, I cannot confirm or deny that Syrians have crossed, for security reasons.”

Agent Garza further stated that in matters as sensitive as Syrians crossing the border from Mexico, it would be highly unlikely that federal agencies would publicize it or inform a broad group of law enforcement. He did say that Local 2455 is taking the reports seriously and that they “will be issuing an officer safety bulletin advising Border Patrol agents to exercise extra precautions as they patrol the border.”

Breitbart Texas can confirm that a Syrian did attempt to enter the U.S. illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was caught using a passport that belonged to someone else and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved due to “circumstances.”

Paul Ryan, House GOP Leaders Set The Stage For Coming Cave To Obama’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program

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Newly elected House Speaker

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is setting the stage this week to cave to President Barack Obama’s efforts to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees across America, even in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.

On Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET, the House Rules Committee will meet to prepare a bill from House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) that doesn’t end up stopping Syrian refugee resettlement in America. Sources Congress-wide confirm to Breitbart News that McCaul’s bill leaves the entire refugee program unchanged and doesn’t affect funding for the program.

The bill number is H.R. 4038 and its title is the American SAFE Act of 2015. “SAFE” stands for “Security Against Foreign Enemies,” and McCaul has billed the legislation in the headline of a House Homeland Security Committee press release as an act that would “Protect Americans from ISIS.”

“America has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees into our country, and we lead the world in humanitarian assistance. However, we also must put proper measures in place to ensure our country’s safety,” McCaul said.

The bill requires the nation’s top security officials—the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence—to certify before admitting any Syrian or Iraqi refugee into the United States that the individual does not represent a security threat. I sent a letter to President Obama on Monday calling for a temporary suspension of Syrian refugee admissions until a full review of the resettlement program, including vetting security risks, could be completed. It is apparent that the President will ignore these concerns, making this legislation necessary to toughen security measures in order to keep terrorists from infiltrating America disguised as refugees. We cannot afford to play Russian roulette with our national security.

McCaul’s team in the release also claimed: “The American SAFE Act requires comprehensive background checks of every refugee from Iraq or Syria before they can be admitted into the United States and certification that each does not pose a threat.”

A House Homeland Security Committee policy aide told Breitbart News that the bill “institutes an unprecedented process of having the three top national security officials have to personally certify every single refugee, which as you know a number of these top security officials are actually privately opposed to the program.”

“You introduce immediately an antagonist into the process,” the aide said. “Obviously, [FBI director] James Comey has been not too secret about the fact that he feels like he personally cannot certify the security of the vetting process.”

Comey, the aide noted, is a Republican FBI director who is going to outlast Obama’s term as president.

“Every single one of these individuals [refugees] has to go through a two-stage certification process,” the aide said.

Also, the aide noted, there’s a clear effort by the legislation to shift refugee responsibilities from the State Department and Health and Human Services Department over to the intelligence and law enforcement community.

“It is the most dramatic escalation for refugee admissions into the United States for a vetting process,” the aide said. “There has never in history ever been a level where a Cabinet secretary has had to personally affirm every refugee has number one had a background check and doesn’t have any terror ties, and number two ‘I personally certify that that person is not a national security risk to the United States.’ So it’s not just their reputations that are on the line, it’s the integrity of their Departments and agencies that are on the line.”

But despite McCaul’s and the committee’s tough-sounding rhetoric, the bill—several congressional aides and the actual text of the legislation confirm—simply requires one new step for Syrian and Iraqi refugee admittance and resettlement: That the Director of National Intelligence, the director of the FBI and the Secretary of Homeland Security approve any such refugees beforehand. Each of those people work for President Obama at the pleasure of the president.

“That’s like asking Janet Napolitano to verify the border is secure,” one GOP aide told Breitbart News. “Of course they are going to approve them without hesitation.”

When asked about these concerns, the McCaul aide said that the extraordinary review process for every refugee will gum up the works and essentially grind the program to a halt.

“Our point here is this is going to have an immediate effect of a pause on the president to do what we have wanted to do all along—to make sure that the vetting process itself is appropriate,” the aide said. “Again, this bill is not designed to stop all refugees from coming into the United States period. The problem that we have identified is we haven’t been able to confidently vet these individuals.”

But another congressional GOP aide from an office highly skeptical of the package told Breitbart News if anyone expects three top officials who serve at the pleasure of the president to rebuff Obama’s wishes they’re kidding themselves.

“If you believe that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona,” the aide said.

The only other detail in the bill is that those officials then have to take that information and report it to Congress at a later date and the Inspector General has to review it.

“The point of the Inspector General review is one extra antagonist in the process and that is for the IG to go through on a risk-based factor and ask if the FBI director, and the DNI director and the DHS Secretary are really doing the right thing,” the Homeland Security aide said. “So at this point, you lose all possibility of Barack Obama and the White House colluding secretly with these cabinet secretaries to jam this through. You have the IG looking over their backs to make sure they’re doing this appropriately and if they’re not that’s the whole point of inserting Congress into this process. Congress has never had a role in this.”

The bill, which is just five pages long, has only two sections. The first just deals with the shortened title of the legislation, while the second section deals with those new requirements.

“Review of Refugees to Identify Security Threats to the United States,” is the second section’s title.

The subheading (a) under section 2 reads “BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION” before detailing the meaningless change to federal statute:

In addition to the screening conducted by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall take all actions necessary to ensure that each covered alien receives a thorough background investigation prior to admission as a refugee. A covered alien may not be admitted as a refugee until the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation certifies to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence that each covered alien has received a background investigation that is sufficient to determine whether the covered alien is a threat to the security of the United States.

Subheading (b) under section 2 reads “CERTIFICATION BY UNANIMOUS CONCURRENCE” before detailing how three of the president’s administration officials need to agree on refugees before they can come in:

A covered alien may only be admitted to the United States after the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the unanimous concurrence of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of National Intelligence, certifies to the appropriate Congressional Committees that the covered alien is not a threat to the security of the United States.

Subheading (c) under Section 2 reads “INSPECTOR GENERAL REVIEW OF CERTIFICATIONS” before detailing how the Inspector General, which is supposed to be neutral would now need to present a fancy report to Congress on their findings about refugees once a year: “The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall conduct a risk-based review of all certifications made under subsection (b) each year and shall provide an annual report detailing the findings to the appropriate Congressional Committees.”

Subheading (d) under Section 2 reads “MONTHLY REPORT” before detailing how it would require Jeh Johnson, the current Homeland Security Secretary, or any of his successors to present a report on a monthly basis to Congress regarding refugees:

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the appropriate Congressional Committees a monthly report on the total number of applications for admission with regard to which a certification under subsection (b) was made and the number of covered aliens with regard to whom such a certification was not made for the month preceding the date of the report. The report shall include, for each covered alien with regard to whom a certification was not made, the concurrence or nonconcurrence of each person whose concurrence was required by subsection (b).

Subheading (e) simply defines the terms of the act, including which are the relevant congressional committees and which aliens qualify as a “covered alien” under this program. Interestingly enough, the only refugees considered a “covered alien” under this bill are those who are “a national or resident of Iraq or Syria,” have “no nationality and whose last habitual residence was in Iraq or Syria,” and have “been present in Iraq or Syria at any time on or after March 1, 2011.”

In other words, this so-called extra approval process of requiring three top aides to the president to sign off on his planned refugees only applies to very recent departures from Iraq and Syria—those who have left in the last four and a half years—and it doesn’t even apply to those coming from other predominantly Muslim countries like Somalia.

At the Rules Hearing on Wednesday evening,

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX—a member who’s also got his own legislation that would block such Syrian refugees from getting into America—plans to offer an amendment that would strengthen McCaul’s bill to more closely match McCaul’s rhetoric. Babin’s amendment would institute a six-month moratorium on the refugee program and make substantive changes to the program to help clear it up. It’s unclear if House Rules Committee chairman
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)  plans to allow the amendment or block it, but without it McCaul’s bill wouldn’t change anything.

What’s more, according to D.C. insider trade publication E&E News, this is at least part of—potentially all of—Speaker Ryan’s efforts to cave on actually stopping the president’s plans to resettle refugees from Syria all across America.

Technically, the only way to actually stop refugee resettlement in the United States would be for the House of Representatives—and the U.S. Senate—to include language in the base appropriations bill that funds the government that would block taxpayer dollars from being used for this purpose by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

ORR is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which means it would need to be included in the HHS portion of an appropriations package. Since Congress has not been especially in recent years doing 12 separate appropriations bills as regular order calls for—but instead has been doing giant omnibus spending bills—so such language would need to go into the omnibus spending bill.

Current government funding legislation runs out in early December, so that means if an effort to defund is included in the upcoming legislation—which will be considered after Thanksgiving—it could lead to brinksmanship with the president and even a government shutdown if Obama doesn’t agree to shutting down the refugee program.

But that fight will never happen if Republican leaders in Congress don’t step up to pick it. And it looks right now like they’re going to stand down to Obama’s refugee resettlement plans, meaning Ryan’s first act as Speaker of the House would be funding with taxpayer dollars President Obama’s efforts to place refugees from Syria—potentially connected with ISIS—in cities and towns across America.

According to the Wednesday morning E&E report, when Ryan was asked on Tuesday whether he would use the appropriations process to block the refugee program’s funding, he responded that he would not. “We don’t want to wait that long. We want to — we want to work and act on this faster than that,” Ryan said.

Senate Minority Leader

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), a Nevada Democrat, backed Ryan’s play.

“I think Speaker Ryan has the right idea,” Reid said. “He’s said he’s going to leave any refugee legislation separate and apart from the omnibus.”

Senate Majority Leader

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has actually, at this time, left the door open to defunding measures being attached to a forthcoming omnibus spending bill.

“We’re talking to the White House, we’ll see what they’re open to,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “There’s certainly a possibility it could become part of legislation, I understand the House may vote on a freestanding measure along these lines.”


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told E&E News he’s open to using the appropriations process to block funding for the refugee resettlement though he “would rather” not. “Much rather,” McCain said.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and his Alabama colleague
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) issued a joint statement earlier in the week calling on language that would defund the refugee efforts to be included in the Appropriations legislation. Shelby, the second senior-most appropriator to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s chairman
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), speaking out can’t be understated—he’s an authority on legislation like this, like Sessions is an authority on matters related to national sovereignty.

“As Chairmen of Subcommittees on both the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees, we believe it is essential that any government funding bill cancel the President’s blank check for refugee resettlement,” Sessions and Shelby said in the joint statement.

Long before the barbaric attacks in Paris, government officials and investigators have stated that we do not have the capacity to effectively screen Syrian refugees. The bloody assaults on the streets of France add new urgency to an already dangerous situation.  Right now, our refugee program – like all of our visa programs – runs on autopilot. Each year, millions of visas go out the door without any input or action from Congress. We would not accept this policy for the federal budget, and we should not accept it for immigration. We therefore urge the inclusion of a provision in any omnibus spending bill that makes it absolutely clear that no refugee resettlement will take place without a separate, affirmative Congressional vote to authorize any resettlement and offset its huge costs.

When asked to confirm the E&E report of Ryan’s plans to balk at a real defunding measure in the appropriations bill that funds the government in December, Ryan’s communications director Brendan Buck referred Breitbart News to House Majority Leader

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’s office. “They [McCarthy’s office] are leading the task force that be outlining multiple steps to deal with this issue,” Buck said.

McCarthy’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for the House Rules Committee also hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

All is not said and done yet, either, and each of these guys could turn this around and block the funding for this program in the December funding bill. Ryan had previously signaled he was open to such a fight. At this time there is no omnibus bill yet that has been introduced as it’s currently being negotiated.

CO, VT, CT: Dem Governors Want Syrian Refugees



Although 52% of Americans believe accepting Syrian refuges will make America less safe, and the F.B.I. has admitted they cannot vet all of these refugees for terror ties, Democrat governors in Colorado, Vermont, and Connecticut have told President Obama that they will accept Syrian refugees into their state.


Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says his colleagues across the nation who say they won’t allow Syrian refugees into their states are “stomping on the qualities that make America great.”

Denver Post:

Colorado will not join states where governors are asking to block the White House from sending them Syrian refugees in the wake of the terrorist attack on Paris Friday.

“A few short days ago we witnessed another senseless act of terrorism,” Hickenlooper said in statement. “Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those lost and injured in Paris, and in other acts of terror around the world.

“Our first priority remains the safety of our residents. We will work with the federal government and Homeland Security to ensure the national verification processes for refugees are as stringent as possible. We can protect our security and provide a place where the world’s most vulnerable can rebuild their lives.”

NBC News:

The state of Connecticut will continue to accept refugees from Syria, Gov. Dannel Malloy told NBC Connecticut on Monday morning. This comes as governors in several other states announced they would stop accepting them.

The Boston Marathon bombers were both refugees.

The White House has estimated 10,000 refugees from Syria will be relocated to the United States this year.  Obama has promised more than 55,000 more next year. This despite the fact that ISIS has said publicly that it intends to use the refugee crisis to funnel terrorists into Western countries.

Thus far 15 Republican governors have told the White House they will not accept any Syrian refuges. Only one Democrat governor, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, has joined that group. She is hoping to defeat sitting Republican Senator Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) next year.

There is no reason America cannot create a safe zone for these refugees in the Middle East. That is the most compassio0nate thing to do for them. It is the safest thing to do for America.

The only reason Obama is risking the safety of Americans to bring them here is to feel sanctimonious and to divide us. No matter the risk or the morality, dividing America is what Obama and Democrats and the DC Media live for.


So Far: Syrian Refugees in U.S. Include 2,098 Muslims, 53 Christians


By Patrick Goodenough | November 17, 2015 | 4:29 AM EST

(CNSNews.com) – President Obama said Monday that calls from some quarters for the U.S. to admit only Christian refugees from Syria were “shameful,” yet the reality is that today’s refugee system discriminates, not against Syrian Muslims, but against Christians and other non-Muslim minorities.

Critics say this is because the federal government relies on the United Nations in the refugee application process – and since Syrian Christians are often afraid to register with the U.N., they and other non-Muslims are left out.

Fleeing persecution at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other jihadist groups, Syrian Christians generally avoid U.N. refugee camps because they are targeted there too.

Most refugees considered for resettlement in the U.S. are referred by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Applications are then handled by one of nine State Department-managed resettlement support centers around the world, a process that includes vetting and interviews by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and takes an average of 18-24 months. There are occasions when a process can begin without UNHCR referral, but this usually applies in cases of close relatives of refugees already in the U.S.

Of 2,184 Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011, only 53 (2.4 percent) have been Christians while 2098 (or 96 percent) have been Muslims, according to State Department statistics updated on Monday.

The remaining 33 include 1 Yazidi, 8 Jehovah Witnesses, 2 Baha’i, 6 Zoroastrians, 6 of “other religion,” 7 of “no religion,” and 3 atheists.

Updated figures of Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war began. Only 53, or 2.4 percent, of the 2,194 total are Christians. (Data: State Department Refugee Processing Center)

By comparison, Syria’s population breakdown in early 2011, before the civil war’s death toll and refugee exodus roiled the demographics, was 90 percent Muslim (including Sunnis, Shia, Alawites and Druze) and 10 percent Christian, according to the CIA World Factbook.

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, some Republican presidential candidates and governors are calling on the administration to reconsider a plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the current fiscal year.

On Monday, Arkansas Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman also called for a temporary moratorium, but as part of a broader new policy on Syrian refugees that also deals with the U.N. referral problem.

“The United States’ reliance on the United Nations for referrals of Syrian refugees should also be re-evaluated,” they said. “That reliance unintentionally discriminates against Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who are reluctant to register as refugees with the United Nations for fear of political and sectarian retribution.”

According to Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of Barnabas Fund, a charity campaigning to help rescue Christians from Syria, Christians fleeting ISIS “seldom go to the main refugee camps in neighboring countries because they are marginalized, abused, and at serious risk of violence in these Muslim-majority shelters.”

Sookhdeo says Western governments “must understand that vulnerable Christians are being overlooked in rescue program that take only those in the camps to safety. Fully aware of the victimization that is likely to await them in refugee camps, Iraqi and Syrian believers are mainly taking shelter in schools, churches, and apartments, or with relatives where possible.”

As a result, some refugee advocates say Western diplomatic missions should work through churches in urban areas in the countries neighboring Syria, to offer refuge for vulnerable Christians.

Prioritize the ‘most victimized’

In September Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced a bill that would give Congress an up-or-down vote on Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees – and would also require the administration, when considering applicants from Syria and Iraq, to prioritize the resettlement of “persecuted” religious minorities.

On Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that U.S. efforts to help Syrian refugees should focus on Christians, “who have no place in Syria anymore. They’re being beheaded, they’re being executed by both sides. And I think we have a responsibility to help.”

Obama, speaking in Turkey, said calls to admit Syrian Christians but not Muslims were “shameful” and “not American.”

Other Western countries are also grappling with the controversial issue.

Last September George Carey, a former leader of the world’s Anglicans, urged the British government to prioritize Christians among the Syrian refugees “because they are a particularly vulnerable group.”

Carey said in an op-ed a government plan to admit thousands more Syrians by way of refugee camps located in the region “inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimized by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State.”

“Christians are not to be found in the U.N. camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them,” he said.

Carey also tackled the sensitive Christian versus Muslim issue.

“Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe,” he wrote. “This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws.”

“Isn’t it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict?” Carey asked. “Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.”

In Australia, Muslim groups accused the government of bigotry forannouncing in September that a plan to admit an additional 12,000 refugees from the conflict will prioritize “those most in need – the women, children and families of persecuted minorities.”

The Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman said it would be discriminatory to reject desperate Syrians, “based on their adherence to Islam.”

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils said then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott must “take the high moral ground and stop bigots in his party from dividing the Australian community” by wanting to screen refugees on religious grounds.