The top U.S. immigration agency told a Senate subcommittee it is working to blunt homegrown terrorism by marketing U.S. citizenship to immigrants.
“USCIS engages and supports partners to welcome immigrants, promote English language learning and education on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and encourage U.S. citizenship.”
The subcommittee had pointed to the arrest of Six Somali men on terror-related charges in Minnesota — where a large population of Somali refugees was resettled — as evidence of the threat and then asked whether USCIS can guarantee other communities won’t face similar threats from the thousands of Syrian war refugees that have been settled stateside.
Referring to its efforts to promote citizenship, officials from USCIS made an appeal to nationalism: “These efforts emphasize the role that shared citizenship rights and responsibilities play to unify all Americans.”
The For the Record Questions with USCIS followed an April hearing on the Obama Administration’s plan to grant Central American minors related to illegal immigrants in the U.S. refugee or parole status, and fly them into the country.
In terms of actively tracking these kinds of refugees, USCIS told the subcommittee it opted against the idea of a parole program in 2013, finding “such a program was not warranted,” but noted that it may yet reconsider the idea.
USCIS said the U.S. is expected to admit between one thousand and two thousand Syrian refugees in Fiscal Year 2015, but it doesn’t have an estimate on the number for future years.
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