tv Discussion on the Syrian Refugee Crisis CSPAN October 19, 2015 11:00am-12:31pm EDT
former constitutional law attorney, and michael ross, author of the book "justice of shattered dreams" to tell the history of the south and the stories of the butchers and the state of new orleans as well as the attorneys and supreme court justices involved in this close decision. be sure to join the conversations as we take your calls, tweets, and facebook comments during the live tonight on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio. and for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. >> a signature feature of book tv is our all-day coverage of the book fairs and festivals from across the country with top nonfiction authors. here's our schedule beginning this weekend. we are live in the nation's heartland for the wisconsin book festival in madison. at the end of the month, we will be in nashville.
at the start of november, we are back on the east coast for the boston book festival. in the middle of the month is the louisiana book festival. at the end of november, we are lied for the 18th year in the room in florida for the miami book fair international. and the national book awards from new york city. just some of the fairs and festivals this fall. >> we are about to start at the bipartisan policy center. a discussion of the syrian refugee crisis. the humanity -- unitarian and security concerns and creating a coherent u.s. and global policy. we will be hearing from state department officials, specialists in the field. live coverage set to begin shortly.
>> good morning and welcome to the bipartisan policy center. thank you for joining us this morning. we are very pleased to welcome you to today's event on the refugee crisis in syria, europe, and the u.s. response. just a call out a couple of news stories over the weekend that will frame our discussion. with russian backing, the syrian government renewed an offensive in aleppo over the weekend that is estimated to have caused another 70,000 syrians to leave aleppo and perhaps causing new wave of refugees entering neighboring countries that are already hosting many refugees. lebanon, jordan,
kurdistan, and turkey. the prime minister in response to this said, we cannot accept an understanding like give us the money and they stay in turkey. turkey is not a concentration camp. for those of you who noticed the chill in the air this morning, the new york times reports about the challenges facing refugees traveling to europe with winter coming. with large flows of refugees and migrants trying to enter europe, and with the u.s. grappling the like the it feels conversation is often boiled between theextremes imperative of giving humanitarian aids and the security challenges of letting people we don't know into our country. ye are the bipartisan polic center and we like to explode binary choices.
we want to bring together a conversation to day to explore the tensions between those two needs. discussion, we have christian roberts, national editor of politico. before joining politico, she was managing editor of national deputy and served as bureau chief for the washington reuters. holtz masters degrees from georgetown university and columbia -- kristin holds masters degrees from georgetown university and columbia. [applause] >> this is a really important
conversation. i want to thank everybody for joining us here. we've got an incredible panel. the only country in the world that is generating refugees. there are 15 million refugees in the world. the united states takes the largest proportion of those refugees. the case for the 4 million syrian refugees is different. what we are going to talk about today is how to balance the security and the humanitarian dimensions of this crisis. we've got an a on panel. let's start with larry. -- we've got an excellent panel. let's start with larry. is deputy director of refugee admissions. 's director of advocacy for the lutheran immigration and refugee service. lorenzo vidino's director of the program of extremism at george
washington university. is senior fellow at the german marshall fund. larry, can you help us understand the men to do for we are dealing with -- the magnitude of what we are dealing with? wheres is a time for us overall displacement is at an all-time high since world war ii. 16 million people are displaced. of which a quarter are from the syrian conflict alone. ways, we are seeing the international community really dealing with the biggest crisis with refugees in decades. depending on how you look at it. they could be since world war ii. enormousally
catastrophe of humanitarian issues. it comes at a time when we are refugeeome very large emergencies. whether that is in the central african republic, yemen, central america, sudan. it is already coming at a time when the system has been extremely taxed already. and then there is dimensions with the syrian crisis -- there terminally -- in internally displaced. it is a situation where half of a country's population is either displaced or refugees. and in even larger number made some kind of international assistance. if you talk about the numbers, they become almost unimaginably big.
you lose people in the numbers. they just seem so enormous. there has beene, an unprecedented and good international response whether it is through funding or resettlement or humanitarian movements. it is still an emergency. i've been in refugee work a while. going back to the vietnamese era. usually emergencies have a curve. "slack off at some point. we are now in the third year and there is no slacking. in fact, what we see is a metamorphosis, a changing into different players. differentees from locations and different causes spilling into neighboring countries like iraq.
so i think it's a huge emergency. and coupled with what we have seen in the last two months, the pictures of people migrating into europe. again, for europe, it is another unprecedented since world war ii kind of emergency. i don't know if i have said the word big and large enough. us whethert all of it is it international organizations or countries or ofugees are in the midst something that is really beyond what most of us have ever experienced. >> can you talk about how this compares to the other crises your organization has responded to? >> every refugee flow is unique. what's interesting to note about the syrians is that since the beginning of the conflict, the u.s. has only welcomed about 1900 syrians. so given the huge numbers that
were mentioned, 4.1 million syrians worldwide, we really have not opened the doors in the u.s. yet to syrians arriving here. and some of the other refugee crises that we have responded to have -- such as kosovo. the response of bringing individuals to the u.s. was more immediate. when we resettled people, they had fresh trauma, violence that they had just experienced. many of the syrians now are being told that the weight they face in the region in the camps in turkey or lebanon could be three or four years. so what we are seeing is a highly traumatized population, almost all syrian families have experienced a death -- a husband, brother, child. but they are not able to find that immediate protection that they need. that's one big difference. a comparison would be to central america.
where we have heard interviews of young men leaving syria who have said, my choice was stay here or die or get on a boat and face the possibility of death there. with central american children being interviewed, we also hear the same story. i can either stay here, faced at that the hands of a game, -- gang, or i can try to find safety may be in costa rica or mexico or the u.s. but the choices the same. death in my home country or possible death on the journey to safety. although there are some , we seeces in scale similarities in levels of trauma as well as a desperation to find safety among all refugee populations. talk aboutsible to the demographics of the population you are seeing in the refugee community coming out of syria? at large, the demographics as
far as gender, it is about a 50-50 split. as far as age, i was looking that up. it is again about a 50-50 split. 50% would be 18 and under and 50% over. there is a relatively small number of elderly. that would be people my age and older. so only about 3% are making it out as refugees. that's a little bit of a difference than some other populations. in the sense that we see a lot of women and children, it is common to many refugee situations. some of the migration happening to europe is a little more mail more mittle younger --
ale and a little younger. in part because it is risky. some of the motivation to move is running out of resources. and the host countries who have done this unprecedented job of -- ining these c lebanon, one out of three people is a refugee. >> that's astounding. >> that would be the u.s. hosting 100 million from different countries and having the children be in schools and using resources -- public resources etc. they have maintained generally open borders although at the moment we see borders closing. as borders and options close, people go on the move.
you saw people who were relatively well-off, a lot of people who were middle class and had resources when they left. they have burned through those resources. i think the situation is changing and the level of desperation is changing as time goes on. -- international community we are only at about 40% for the syrian appeal. that means food ration cuts by the world food program. it means other kinds of educational supplements. there is also that curve. i think we are seeing changes in the way the population looks. certain people heading out the custom are running out of options. in termsbout your view of the demographic divide? can we talk about the countries in europe who are taking many of
the refugees? what those numbers are and what burden that is bringing to those nations? any of you? we have had a resettlement program. there's about 30 countries involved from as big as the united states to my favorite, liechtenstein. but also other countries outside of the region made opportunities available. so that's on one side of the settlement. and of course there is a much larger number of people directly leaving europe at this point. we are seeing arrivals of 6000 people per day. over 500,000 asylum applications filed in europe since the start. and the countries bearing the biggest brent at this point --
unt at this point would be countries like germany, sweden, norway. u.k.t announcements by the for multi-your commitment -- multi-year commitments. there are ones we hope will do more. there will also be a european relocation plan. that has been put forward by the european union. which will also involve local members. we have also seen certain countries putting up fences. some of my colleagues have described a new iron curtain coming down in certain parts of europe to block the immigrants. >> germany promised to take hundreds of thousands of refugees. but they have been criticized
for that being a threat to german culture. hungarian officials are talking about the threat of terrorism. is this a fair concern? >> no. it's not a fair concern. it is a fair concern the sense that security is important. in the sense that integration is important. flowo view the refugee through a lens purely of security, that there are terrorists embedded or extremist embedded in these refugee flows i think is a mistake. ofis a major issue integration and inclusion and of whether or not the europe the future, particularly the new europe, the countries that you mentioned, are they going to be open? are they going to integrate populations that frankly don't look like them or may not have
the same religion? the humanitarian questions that have been raised and the security challenges that are certainly present, i think one of the silver linings in this -- one of the positive outcomes could be that europe is not grappling with -- is now grappling with and will decide whether it is open to immigration or whether it is closed. we have seen leadership from germany and france and other countries. we have also seen a rise in far right movements and political parties grabbing more and more seats. switzerland for example. and we have also seen violence against -- you mentioned germany. the mayor elect of munich was stabbed because of his -- presumably because of her open views on immigration. a lothink you are seeing
of reactions. lots of negative reactions. but we are happy that europe is grappling with these issues and in a emerge unified, position to actually speak with one voice. and that is what we are seeing today. we have seen croatia, who initially sort of wavered. actually talking about resolving it as opposed to some of the other countries like hungary who are just putting up barbed fences and so forth. so it is a positive outcome in the sense that it is framing the issue. >> lorenzo, your thoughts. >> i would echoed his comments. the debate gets very heated and politicized. we have seen statements from hungarian officials and throughout europe trying to exploit the conservative fears about the terrorist threat in europe.
which is real, but is not necessarily linked to the refugee crisis. i'm not saying it doesn't exist completely. because anecdotally we can find examples of course when we have such large numbers. it's statistically impossible that everybody will not be linked -- that you cannot find at least one or two people linked to terrorism. but if you look at the events of the last few years, we do not see that link. let's start with the u.s. we talked a lot about europe. we just concluded a study of the individuals who have been arrested for isis links in the u.s.. not one of them is a refugee. these are people arrested in the last year and a half. 40% of them are actually converts born in the u.s. the vast majority are people who are born and bred in the u.s.. you can argue that there are a few of them of somali dissent to have a refugee background.
t who have ascen refugee background. the attacks that have been perpetrated in europe with a syrian linked over the last two years, all of them have been perpetrated by people who are european citizens or have long lived in europe or have no links to syria. seen homegrown terrorism and not so much an imported terrorism threat coming from refugees. obviously we have seen a few cases here and there. i think most of them have to be decided by court. .e had a case in italy we had a couple of cases in bulgaria and the czech republic.
all of them need to be adjudicated in the courts. but we are talking about anecdotal. if you look at the big numbers, the 5000 individuals who have gone from europe to fight, they are european citizens. second and third european citizens -- second and third generation european citizens. so the link is disproven by facts. >> there are many officials attempting to cite things as fact. one such fact goes to the democratic -- demographic question. that a large number of people coming from syria are primarily men of for lack of a better description "fighting age." do you attribute that to the difficulty of the journey? >> that seems likely. obviously we do see the majority are meant. n.
half of them are women. it tends to be younger people for a variety of reasons. it is a difficult journey. even more if you take the southern route from libya to tunisia. obviously i think that's why younger people attempt it and older people do not. i think that's the history of migration in general. younger people attempt it. the fact that they are military age obviously goes with that. i understand the concern. thatusly i am not saying because in the past we have not seen a terrorist threat coming from people who come as refugees , the issue should be completely disregarded. i am and everybody else is concerned by the fact that it is very difficult to triage the thousands of people that are coming every day. and it's pretty clear that some of these people have been fighting and been involved in the conflict. the stories can range from involved inere
coming togroups europe as infiltrators to carry out something. people cases you have who were fighting and for one reason or another got disillusioned with the conflict and left. picturede seen people with machine guns in syria and then coming as refugees and the european media has been full of pictures like that. each story needs to be vetted. why were they fighting? who are they fighting with? why did they leave? it doesn't make them a terrorist. it would be naive not to check for what is possible the background of these individuals. that is the challenge. >> you have something to add. >> one thing to add. this is a humanitarian challenge and a security challenge. the results also a propaganda war going on. -- there is also a propaganda
war going on. -- points to isis out there on social media in these refugee flows. if we except what basis is saying, let's take a closer look. let's really think about this and not just fall into -- fall prey to what i view as isis propaganda. of course it is in their interest to make us not want to take these refugees. of thes the narrative west doesn't want you, stay away, join the jihad, etc. of except these conventional thoughts as a given but it really does require when you are making major policy decisions allocating resources which large parts of europe don't have, you really have to dig and understand what is
happening on the ground. that isnk another thing often lost -- i certainly think all the agencies are dealing military activity is something we are interested in. and there is mandatory conscription in syria into the syrian army itself. talk about a lot of terrorist organizations without realizing that we are on guard as well because people may have been in the syrian military as well or they weren't, they avoided it because there are lots of ways to not be in the syrian military. so perhaps the people dealing with the issue are naive. people are not looking for issues. cases,rviewing particularly when you get to resettlement which is highly individualized, or asylum when you spend a lot of time with the
this is going to be a big part of every interview. particularly if you are a male. is country of origin information, there are resources you go to. there are experts who follow these issues. when things are unclear, i would say the process stops until they are clear. caribbean andthe other regions. we have some syrians that have been in the caribbean. i see all the submissions coming to the u.s. and a great deal of time is spent exploring peoples -- what did you do, what was your military history, what was your situation. what intersections did you have with the conflict? so one of the things i would love to dispel is the idea that big splitere is a
between those who are concerned about security and of those who are concerned about humanitarian agency. everyone in the humanitarian field knows that if you don't have security, you will lose confidence in the system. and the general public will use confidence -- will lose confidence. and i think that is something we can't afford. that is why governments are on the lookout and looking at these issues. paperwork onnsive individuals that we have ways of looking into cases. say iser thing i would like most systems of security, it depends on multiple layers. there is never a single layer. there's not a single layer when you get on the airplane. there's not a single layer when you cross the border. any kind of security approach is a multilayer approach.
and there has to be a dovetailing of humanitarian issues that we are looking at as well as the security. and i think everybody that i have worked with is committed to making those things work together. >> can you make that a bit of a fuller picture for us? when you are doing a security check on a particular refugee. >> we are often the first stop or many refugees dealing with int countries, particularly turkey's where the host government takes on a bigger role. in syria, we have contact with other governments ongoing, so if .here are security issues there's issues of sources and information flows.
we work with experts in the field and we have quite a lengthy paper. triggers that might come up in toes that move cases over those who would do more extensive interviewing and do more extensive hold. the u.s. is not alone on this. everybody does tend to be multilayered. i would say they divide between biometrics, so taking things -- anythingrints unique in the situation is this is one emergency where we have such a high level of metrics. we have iris scans -- virtually all of the registered population
in lebanon, jordan, egypt and iraq. in turkey, the government is in charge of that in taking fingerprints. we have never had that kind of level of biometrics, along with digital graphs. that's a new element. knowing the consistency of identity is one key element, being able to go back for five years and say that's the same person. a number ofasked by journalists why we haven't always done that? why didn't i have a memory stick that could hold that many gigabytes? it's a point of the technology being able to operate in a field location in a reliable fashion. our turnaround time with an iris scan is three seconds. it's not the full answer, but it
is a layer and to get across that there are layers people have to get through. about the talk security process question mark >> refugees in the united states are subject to the highest level -- no category of traveler receives a higher category. it includes the participation of a number of u.s. government agencies. the federal bureau of and very -- federal bureau of investigation and a number of other agencies. larry was saying, it is true that people who work on humanitarian programs are not completely separated from the people who work on the security side because we are very aware if a refugee came through the program and committed an act of terrorism, it could threaten the entire resettlement program. because the people have been so welcoming to refugees over the
years, we over to them to make is ashese refugee program free as possible from people who have unknown intent or reason to do harm in the united states. >> it looked like you wanted to say something about being aware of the security problems? >> i would just back go what has been said here. kelly said what i was eager to say, which is that refugees receive more scrutiny than anyone else coming to the u.s. that's not something that is widely known. i think it is assumed that because the u.s. leads the world in resettling refugees, that it is an act of compassion, an act , andmanitarian goodwill separate from concerns about national security. it is really an interwoven process that does involve
multiple security checks. it is important to point out that the process of vetting someone takes 18 months. quick not talking about a run iris scan and you are on a plane in a week. 18 months to go through the background check and vetting process. that is something to think about. we are undertaking resettlement as a humanitarian act, we want to make sure the system has integrity, but it does need to be balanced as well toh not allowing a family languish in a camp or allowing a a family with medical concerns to wait for 18 months. we need to strike that balance between keeping our homeland safe and keeping the humanitarian purpose of refugee settlements. >> let's talk about the u.s.
response in particular. the u.s. promised to settle 10,000 refugees. is that enough? organization thinks it is woefully inadequate. four point one million syrian refugees worldwide and in the united states to accept 10,000 syrians in the coming fiscal year. currently hosting the equivalent of 100 million, it would be 100 million refugees from syria. you can see the difference of what countries in the region are taking on and what the united states is pledging. a reasonable exercise of arden sharing would suggest 10,000 syrians is just not enough.
one reason i say that so confidently is the united states leadershipud of the we play in humanitarian relief. for years, the u.s. has welcomed more refugees than any other nation worldwide. it is something our government takes very seriously. that is not the case when it comes to syrians. we are lagging behind. we are seeing the region strain to keep up with the demand they we would need to resettle many, many more syrians. are callinge mine on the united states to resettle 100,000 syrians this year. we think that's a much more when it comesmber to foreign-policy concerns and she monetary and assistance. secure,ep the process
but let's also step up and do our part to welcome this highly traumatized population into our community. >> what do you think the disconnect is due to -- the disconnect between the history of welcoming refugees and the unwillingness to welcome these refugees? the great question and the agencies that resettle refugees work together under an umbrella known as refugee council usa. one of the biggest actors seems to be political will. we know where there's a will, there's a way. 111,000 refugees and doubled that number two 100,000. we can do this as a country. now, americans are proud of
the role we played with the vietnamese boat people. it is something often pointed to as a bright spot in u.s. history. the same levelg of political will when it comes to refugees. to how we responding responded to the vietnamese situation. >> obviously, i disagree with that. proud ofd states is our refugees program. we are the largest refugee settlement in the world. nearlyar, we brought in 70,000 refugees from several different processing locations from all different corners of the world. our program is very different from the other 29 or 30 companies that do resettlement. even companies -- even countries
like australia and canada may do it in 10 or 12 locations and bring in a relatively small number of refugees. it takes 18 months to vet a refugee to come to the united states. we are not spending 18 months doing security checks. accept a referral of any nationality in any location at any time. at any given time, we've got something like a quarter million system.urning to the not thed, we are fastest program in the world. it's a large ship that takes a long time to turn. we have admitted more than 126,000 refugees. if you look back to 2007, we
12,000.in after that, we were bringing in close to 20,000 for many years in a row. the program is just now gearing up. we have received almost 20,000 referrals, but we are in the process of vetting nose and getting them ready for dhs interviews. a will have a huge numbers -- huge number of interviews and i think we will get to 10,000, but the notion we can get to 100,000 refugees when we don't have nearly the capacity to send referrals for 100,000 refugees is just not possible. question, it can be a number of things. it can be a political cycle. we have both parties running around, no one wants to take a risk on higher numbers. what this has exposed is whether
open toountries are receiving refugees. obviously, we are. we made that decision generations ago. the debate at the national level in this country are not about do we or do we not, it's how many, how do we do it, the implementation, the resources and so forth. senior up is a conversation that is several steps behind. sayinge heads of state things like we will take the christian refugees but we won't take the muslim refugees. this is 2015 and you have people talking like this at the national level, so this has thated a deep conversation eastern europe has not resolved.
there are certainly problems there as we talked about earlier, but that's an important piece. open andtation is there are countries in europe whose orientation is not open. we are looking at this point probably in the next four or five years. we would would the like the u.s. to do more because we would like all the countries to do more. say of the 20,000 we and itde, it is true does put it at an earlier stage in the u.s. process. the other general ask is we are looking at ways to streamline processes, are there ways to do things better?
are there other avenues by which people can move? there may be detection opportunities that could be provided through other means rather than purely resettlement. the u.s., the narrative is a bit strange. there are is a greater danger and there have been 30,000 u.s. visas issued to syria. expatriates. are not like syrians here. there is a syrian community, there is migration. igration happens to the u.s. whether it's non-immigration coming through school, visitors , i thinkle migrating the syrian crisis really put .omething out
we have to build up the capacity to be able to make the kind of referrals that would yield 400,000 people. we have done these things in the past, but it does take time. my hope is we can maintain a positive trajectory which would syrians beingmore admitted next year. that's certainly the goal we want to work with and see where we take it. thatd see the same thing seemed like it would stop the , but thereits tracks has to be the political world -- the political will. not just in the u.s., but has to be everyone's will to move forward and get past this narrative that there's something
fundamentally worse about syrian refugees than everyone else. these problems can be worked through. they are not insurmountable issues. they are doable and it's a matter of getting the whole in place and resources in place to do them. country, we are running into this. i've looked at the referral versus departure numbers. other than sweden and a couple of other countries, the gap is unacceptable from the time we get cases to arrive. the swedes are known for their speed. the numbers are not ever going to be comparable to the u.s. or canada or australia. receiving are also lot of spontaneous arrivals.
so they probably don't have to make their way to the border of sweden. that's one of the main reasons to do resettlement. 10%, it is the give and the outlet for the most vulnerable to show there some tangible support that countries in the region are hosting these fantastically large numbers. it's one thing to put money into a program and it's another to take people. both of those have to part of the international response. i don't say paying your way out is a problem, but has to be more than just putting money out there. migrating people are irregularly because they don't have other legal options to move. >> larry talked about resources and political will. there has to be a lyrical will
not just on the part of the administration but on the part of congress to fund a resettlement program. the u.s. refugee resettlement program is an extremely expensive endeavor. my bureau at the state department spent about $400 million last year at adding 70,000 refugees. we are going to need more to bring and 85,000. the department of health and human services office of refugee resettlement also spent hundreds of millions of dollars on our program. department, we have a limited amount of money to fund resettlement and humanitarian assistance. the more refugees we resettle, the less money we have for humanitarian assistance. refugees toing for be calling for 100,000 syrians, which we are not going to make the entire program syrians, but you have to have a program of
200,000 to accommodate that. we need significantly more money than we are getting now. i'm not sure many of us have confidence we're going to get that money from congress. >> i completely agree that congress has a role to play here. would not be responsible to accept refugees without the resources that they need to adjust to life in the u.s., to become acclimated, to learn a new language. there has to be a commensurate level of financial support to go along with the political will. to leave the audience with the perception that refugees are just sucking up resources. that is not the case. most of the refugees we help resettle become self-sufficient very, very quickly. that is one of the department of state house goals -- that individuals who are resettle to financiallyome both
self-sufficient and able to live independently. communities are made richer who resettle refugees. they gain in resources from refugees who open businesses, who contribute to the economy of their community, and the amount of time refugees are eligible for public assistance is very limited. there is an eight month window where a refugees receives cash assistance. , they are expected to become completely self-sufficient. there is an outlay of resources at the beginning of the process but the country benefits from assisting refugees. >> i'm anxious to get to the audience q&a, but there's one thing i want to focus on. there are two words that did not come out of any of your mouth -- one is prejudice and one is fear.
how are fear in -- beer and prejudice in congress among congress or politicians in general affecting the u.s. approach here? -- fear and prejudice in the congress. >> i mentioned the isis propaganda. people he this stuff and we are already self-conscious about not being able to measure up to isis , the so-called amazing isis social media presence, which i don't think is all that amazing. we sort of recycled conversations when it comes to fear mongering and particularly when it comes to the middle east. driven by prejudice, racism and jihad and so forth. issue whenses the related to the sweden question of leadership. it may be a political election
cycle, but we will still allocate resources for this in our miss humanitarian crisis. notappointed that i'm seeing this at the level i think we should, but more x -- more important we, we're not seeing .t in europe what you are seeing in europe, last week -- and this was mentioned in the opening -- let's shift a check over to turkey and say keep your refugees or build bigger walls is basically what the eu council ended up with. let's hope in december when they meet again, they can come up with something more creative and aside resources and tackle this issue head on as
opposed to hiding behind fear and prejudice and misinformation. >> about isis messaging and our own week counter messaging, sign to -- trying to see the bright side, this could be something that could undermine the isis narrative. people are voting with their feet and moving out of isis-controlled territory. isis has issued a lot of communiques and videos denouncing people who live the -- who leave the so-called islamic state, accusing them of blasphemy because they leave the entity they think they have established. and it's not something we are exploiting from a counter narrative perspective. people who live there want to leave. you have a few individuals in the west who want to go and live there, but aside from that, the majority of people do not want to live under isis-controlled territory.
messages,e particularly in europe, the most xenophobia parts of europe are -- there is a big difference between the european experience with muslim immigration the american experience. two very different them a graphics. they get exploited by certain forces but it is undeniable. but in the u.s., i don't really see the tensions. it's more about cultural cleavages that do exist. it is a bit puzzling in a way,
the position in the u.s. i think it is more puzzling to see the american one. tensions in this country, but we also have mechanisms community and resilient mechanisms to try to work out those issues and tensions. we have controls over violence and far right extremist parties and groups. in europe, we are not seeing that. train at theaway highest levels. of europe, but in certain parts of europe, you are seeing it as part of the national discourse and you see national leaders get in on the
side of issues that i think is appalling. >> we have heard in the u.s. from members of congress, from state and local officials welcoming the syrian refugee population and those expressions fear or prejudice. it's usually security and terrorism that are the talking some ofhat are driving the conversation in the u.s. has beensation overwhelmed with a positive response from the american people. our phones rang every day with how can i help? i would like to welcome a syrian family into my home. there's an outpouring of sympathy and desire to help.
much of that was awakened after the photograph of the young child whose body washed ashore in greece. it has not abated. we continue to be impressed with the outpouring of generosity and many americans are demonstrating in response to this. there is a debate to be had about the security of the refugee resettlement program, that there's a very genuine desire to help. >> let's have some questions. wait for the microphone, please. kellyquestion is for about things the u.s. can do to
streamline the program. there was an article in the new york times recently that noted cannot gobanon, they because there's a rule that says u.s. officials have to sleep at the embassy. them, so's no room for we have not had any face to face intervenes for a long time. one bottleneck i have been told about is one of the hurdles you have to clear is proving you are a refugee and i have heard advocates say if you are from syria and you can prove you are syrian, you are a refugee given how bad things are in the country. what do you think of those issues in general? that's not a dhs policy dhs officers have to stay on the compound.
it is the embassy security officer who has made that rule. we don't want to blame that on the department of homeland security. unfortunately, we see those sorts of challenges and any places. we brought in last year 71 100onalities from close to locations. we are operating in some pretty remote and sometimes dangerous parts of the world. for almost a year, we were unable to get people into baghdad and had to shut down our direct application process. we had challenges not getting officers into other locations because of boko haram violence and targeting people into sudan. of thellenges because
places that were facing challenges like that. your question about whether dhs could determine whether it's a prima fascia refugee -- i think that to because it is their adjudication. i know that dhs like we are come are looking at a lot of ways for streamlining processing. we had a major improvement with security checks over the summer that consolidate some of our them so checks and run it means we do not need to wait for a final of one of the checks and that is helping things. i think we will see as we move through that are processing times will be coming down because of a number of reforms. >> that's go over to the side of the room. a question in the third row.
i don't have a question but may make brief remarks. , it is truee primarily syrians but not just syrians. there are numbers of others. , the mr.s, afghanistan is much broader. -- the mixture is much broader. a great number of young families . more or less people middle-class . some of them still able to pay their taxes. thatagree with this remark europe should come with a better answer later in the year.
this should not be a european problem. it is a global problem and we all have to try to seek a proper answer to the situation here on the ground. as far as this balance between humanitarian and security approach, it is true, there should be a certain balance. we have not directed barbed wires on the wire. we have not close the border. we can accommodate, process, 1500 people a day, but not more. let's assume there are tens of thousands of people on our border and no one has tried to channel them through border crossings but just over the border. situations we cannot cope with. germany, letia,
them in and process them. this is just a temporary solution. we cannot accommodate more than 10,000 people to stay in slovenia. this is an issue that requires much broader answer. not just my country or countries in the direction of refugees but europe and the international community as a whole. >> right behind you. >> thank you. i'm glad the panel acknowledged nativism and xenophobia. that it plays in this crisis. i don't think in the united states at least those attitudes are evenly dispersed across both political parties. what can the president of the united states do under his existing executive authority as opposed to what additional authority would he need from congress in order to do more
than he's doing? >> specifically in terms of refugee resettlement? in the requirement refugee act of 1980 that the administration consult with congress prior to issuing a determination for the upcoming year. this year secretary kerry did consult with the house and senate judiciary committees there the president issued determination that allows us to admit up to 85,000 refugees if at some point in the year it looks as though we might have the capacity to exceed 85,000, the president would need to send a cabinet level official to congress and consult with them. explaining my believe the number should be higher. .ack to resources to go even higher than that requires additional resources and we would need additional resources from congress for that. >> let's stay right here and i will go back to the other side of the room. >> thank you.
reporter.gressional immigration reporter. i just wrote a book on the 1965 act. there is a civil right here we cannot discriminate against race, creed, national origin. i don't think that exists in other countries. they do have the right if they don't want to have muslims in hungary, they have the right to say that. famous civil rights law. immigration is not a civil right. what i wanted to ask was, refugees here get a green card after a year, so it is an immigration issue. is that true in europe? are we talking about refugees as being permanent or is there a temporary status in europe? why isn't there pressure on saudi arabia and other arab countries to take in these refugees? if youe is a requirement
become a european union member to a set of core principles. one of those is rejection of xenophobia. it is not as if now -- there are other questions about whether it conflicts with national constitutions. if you're a member of the european union you sign on to a set of core principles. i can't answer the second question but the third question on saudi arabia, there is a simple reason why -- we have asked them to do more but i don't think we should because what saudi arabia is doing is fueling the wars in part in the middle east. you want partners that you can trust and partners who will actually want a resolution and will not -- saudi arabia is bombing entire shiite villages in yemen.
you think they are going to care about refugee flows going into europe? i don't think so. >> on the second question, for those who are being resettled who actually resettlement programs, yes, they would move toward gaining permanent citizenship. every country has a different timeline and different program. the german program and the austrian program do not necessarily come with at guaranty. -- with that guaranty. the german government could design for example to have a process, when people move now it is not with the assurance they will be able to move toward citizenship. the rights given under most humanitarian mission programs are virtually parallel to what refugees get other than this sort of pathway to citizenship.
those applying directly into asylum programs, would, in almost all the countries in europe are signatories at the refugee convention they have implementing legislation of that convention so once people move from asylum there are procedures . they vary widely and how you become a citizen from ones that look like the u.s. to the swiss which is a different kind of process where you have to apply to your local community and have a book opened on you and people vote on whether you become a citizen. it is consistent with their national policy that refugees would be part of. >> one in the back and we will come to the front. >> thank you. my question is for everybody on the panel. you spoke about many of the
security aspects which are insured in the u.s.. we and germany are experiencing many problems at the moment. police officers do not and refugeesgister all the that are flooding into germany and they say this openly in newspapers. some refugees are currently refusing to give their fingerprints when they are being registered. citizensi's or turkish pertained to be syrians that can simply buy a passport or in greece there was an article in foreign policy. they just pretend they are from syria. how can we cope with these problems and ensure that those immigrants comply with our rules and that people -- and they are not people just strive for economic g wealth?
>> it is a -- the homeland security task force report that just came out last month spoke to a piece of what you are saying. we need to do a better job, the u.s. does, of sharing lists we've not yet shared with our european partners including interpol. that is a nice thing that has been exposed. maybe now people will work on sharing that information. maybe that will alleviate concern i think you mentioned. beyond that. i think it is important for people to know the refugee convention itself does have many provisions. what the responsibilities are for refugees to comply with national law. it is an issue of having the mechanisms in place, the
opportunities. there are requirements that a person seeking asylum -- their obligations on the states, on the asylum-seekers. to the extent in any given country i think it is a matter of having procedures in place. there is an international -- something that are allowed. --aining esop -- a silence detaining asylum seekers. the things -- there are things about applying the national law. in some cases, requirements might be the same as what is required of other nationals. each country passes different implementing. as an international standard, refugees and asylum-seekers can be asked to apply with reasonable standards for
registration, status determination. from the u.n. perspective, there are mechanisms that could be put refugeesand that should be given access to. the question is make sure they have access to procedures. sometimes we see many procedures that are good on paper but refugees don't end up having true access to those. >> i think your question highlights the fact that we are talking about apples and oranges. the focus has been on the resettlement program which is a program whereby we send officials out in an orderly process, work with the u.n., select and decide who will come to the united states. we have the luxury of doing security checks before we allow someone to come across the border. you are dealing with a different influx in europe so that's why it is harder for us to compare and give advice in terms of what germany is facing. >> here, please.
>> allison campbell from interviews. i wondered if you could give us any visibility into levels of support for turkey. i understand that turkey is being offered support if the refugees back up there for any length of time or released into new registration centers increase in other places. can you give us visibility into increased levels of u.s. support in the region? somewhat related question about provision of humanitarian information to refugees. we in our organization and perhaps some others, speaking to refugees, giving them information they need is actually a window to build trust and draw information out of those populations to make narratives more visible and understand who they are.
>> what was the question on your second? >> any suspected increase in resources from usg in the region. extent does prm and unh -- >> on the first question because i am the deputy director of our resettlement program i don't have a lot of granularity into where the four $.5 billion the u.s. government has provided to support refugees in the region, i don't know how much of that is going to turkey. messaging to refugees, one of the things that we know is a possible vulnerability in our program, because it takes a long time to
process refugees are resettlement there are people out there who can try to take advantage of that and try to exploit refugees by saying things like, i can make your case go faster if you pay me to do xyz. that is one of the things we're trying to make sure refugees throughout the process have a better idea of where their case is, how much longer it will take. that's something we're working out on the resettlement side. counseling -- if you're involved in any protections engagement with the refugee when they're coming to you with particular problems and you are going to be trying to resolve that, there's a number of layers. if you are talking about migration side of things, -- resettlement is not driven largely by people walking
into our office and saying i want resettlement. it is through networks, partners identifying vulnerable individuals. a lot of work would be to refer people back to some of those frontline agencies. i think as we see in europe as what develops related to some of the proposals related to enter european settlement, who will qualify, what are some of the factors that will be relevant in that, i think capacity is being put in place. when people are in reception standards and others, they have the ability to extract information that would guide in the decisions as to whether there will be eligible for relocation. two where is it consistent with national policies of the countries putting up places, there is a scheme to allocate settlement places to various
countries. i think we are at the front end of that. we're much more involved with the life-saving, making sure -- even the people crossing the mediterranean, this is not a warm time to take a mediterranean trip. you see people arriving in very overcrowded reception centers. particularly in greece, trying to work with the government. --ould say we are resettlement is something you do when you have a more stable platform in order to do that work. counseling is going to be part of it in one of the counseling things has to be, even in this resettlement program, you are still telling 90% of people that is not going to happen and you
are going to have to work out what is the appropriate response to give us that other 90% and if you don't have the resources to deal with the other 90% in an effective way, you're going to continue to have spontaneous migration and people trying to seek affection other ways. i think that long-term challenge we have on top of resettlement. >> next question. you were just raising your hand. in the back over here please. icm see serves as a processing partner in turkey and lebanon. i wanted to follow-up on one thing. you have identified one of the roadblocks which kelly explained further about -- in lebanon. no one is talked about a big frustration the u.s. government in turkey, they have just passed
in the last year or so and aw.lum law it has taken eleanor's amount. -- taken and a norma's amount. .- and enormous amount they needed some training and capacity building on a host of things which u.s. government has been supplying. that goes to everything from sensitivity in interviewing as at theians as well very basic. it is culturally inappropriate apparently for the turkish people to ask in their words personal questions. once we get this referral from them, we have had to go back to the drawing board, both the u.s. unhcr.rtner as well as
it speaks to their ability to show the cases we are getting as this begins may or may not be the strongest but it -- but as they are getting their feet wet and staffed up, we're beginning to see a breakthrough. >> did you have a question? just a comment. there is one of the back. from ther stewart association of international educators. you speak to 90% of people will not be resettled. one question that i have is, is there a way to recommend people that are identified that are in college or university or have an education that would be helpful within the global community at large? we are seeing large numbers of
people that will be displaced for many years if not decades. how can we make sure that we don't have a generation of people that aren't getting the higher education they will need and who should be getting it to either a cyst were they are going or return back to syria or other nations? i would say this is one of the areas where we are asking for innovative approaches. i think it boils down to a couple of issues. one would be identifying some of the people who might benefit from a scholarship kind of approach to who would pay for it. the third as we get back to the same security and clearance processes that involve refugees. you are still going to have to get clearances and let people and other countries. usually a basic requirement for most individuals is that you can
return back to the country of origin. past ande been in the i would say in my working experienced the largest was in the 1980's were some african refugees, there were a number of mechanisms in place that south africans who found themselves outside the country were able to access international college and university level education post secondary kind of education. that was driven in large part i private foundation money. in some cases in europe some countries are looking at some sort of small scholarship programs. i think there is a cohort that this might be addressed to. expenses, education is not cheap either. it is a good thing to
pursue. i would not discourage anybody about -- of a philanthropic bend to find ways to move this forward. be aware of what some of the technical issues that would .till have to be overcome >> one last question. here.l go right over >> allison ficus from the feta foundation. it's been said that we can't just throw money at turkey in order to solve the refugee crisis. i was wondering what role turkey crisisplay in this and what can europe and the united states due to help turkey who is experienced one of the largest influx of syrian refugees? camps in turkey
are already past capacity. my point was not that we should not give turkey or the european -- should not give money to turkey to deal with stuff. that cannot be the response. that should not be europe's response, let's just write a check to turkey. that was the point i was trying to make. turkey needs help. you have to navigate, you have to be true to what the principles of the european union call for. turkeymerkel, going to at a time when elections are coming up. it is being viewed and propagandized as support for a certain political party which has not been the greatest on .uman rights and other freedoms
that raises questions. it's almost like countries are complicating the conversation. turkey is an important piece of this but it's not the only piece. thecan't rely on fixing refugee crisis by fixing turkey. yemen?out syria, iraq, is enormous.fect we have a role to play to help turkey but turkey has a role to play to help turkey too. >> thank you. we have final comments now. >> i'm teresa brown am a director of the immigration policy project. join me in thanking our guests. [applause] >> and our wonderful moderator,
kristin roberts. see, this is not a black and white issue. this is a complex issue that's going to require complex response from the united nations -- from the united see, this isa black and white states, private sector, public sector, ngos. we hope we have given you a sense of the scale. maybe you leave with more questions that did not get answered. that is ok. thank you for joining us today. have a good day.
>> you can watch this program on our website later today at c-span.org. , the senateon judiciary committee will be meeting to review legislation on sentencing and creating two new mandatory minimums, five years for aiding terrorists and 10 years from deaths related to domestic violence the crosses state lines. turning to the upcoming ben ghazi hearing, the hill reports that them a kratz on the committee have released a report summarizing more than four dozen
interviews conducted so far and that they are going on the defensive ahead of thursday's hearing saying that republicans have no evidence to support claims that hillary clinton was responsible for deaths during the attacks and ben ghazi, libya. the former secretary of state will appear before the committee on thursday. live coverage on our companion c-span 3 as well as c-span.org. the supreme court heard oral argument in montgomery versus louisiana, a case whether to decide if the earlier finding that life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional. he was originally sentenced to death those was retried and sentenced to life without parole . mr. montgomery has so far served more than 50 years in prison. your argument in case 14 to
80, montgomery versus louisiana. issue chief justice, the is whether or not to decide retroactivity in this case or in a federal hate he is case such as johnson versus manis on this court's docket. there's no jurisdiction over that question because the point of section 1257 is to enforce the supremacy clause. the clause states that when "the laws of the united states" apply "the judges in every state shall be bound thereby or co there is n." that, when adoes state voluntarily adopts nonbinding federal precedents, that creates no right under federal law, which is what 1257 requires, and michigan versus
logan does not apply. >> how would you describe the adequate and independent state grounds on which this decision rested? >> i would say that the lack of a binding federal law question is an antecedent requirement, to borrow terminology from the sg's brief before you get to the adequate and independent state ground analysis. the second part of our brief said while it is not constitutionally required, that is basically this court president -- president from danforth and in kaufman have said what have become peak exceptions are matters of