Commentary

Where Are the Christians? Federal Judge Notes Refugee Bias

By Bill Donohue | November 1, 2016 | 2:44pm EDT
Five members of the Jouriyeh family, who are Syrian refugees headed to the U.S. from Jordan this week as part of a resettlement program. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

Judge Daniel Manion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has voiced concern over the almost complete lack of Christians among the more than 10,000 Syrian refugees admitted into the United States over the past year.

Judge Manion, a Reagan appointee, noted that the administration had reached the “laudable goal” of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States.

“And yet,” he wrote, “of the nearly 11,000 refugees admitted by mid-September, only 56 were Christian.”

“It is well-documented,” the judge wrote, “that refugees to the United States are not representative of that war-torn area of the world. Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian.”

This is especially appalling given that ISIS continues to target Christians in Syria and throughout the Middle East. And as Judge Manion pointed out, “To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.” Up until now, he notes, “many of us remain in the dark as a humanitarian catastrophe continues.”

There can be no moral justification for this kind of disparity. The Obama administration rabidly pursues diversity and inclusion in all of its public policies, but not when it comes to Islamic fanatics committing genocide against Christians—they are sent to the back of the refugee line. The next president must deal with this issue forthrightly, and with celerity.

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.

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