President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the State Department, Antony Blinken, previously praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open borders policy that has invited more than a million refugees to the European superpower.
While serving in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state, Blinken delivered a speech in New York City in September 2016 where he applauded Merkel for her opening Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees at the time even as the burden fell on German taxpayers.
At the same time, Blinken made a veiled attack on U.S. and European opponents to mass global migration — such as President Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen, Britain’s Nigel Farage, and Italy’s Matteo Salvini — by suggesting that they were “stoking fear and demanding walls.”
In Europe, the crisis is literally at the doorstep of cities, towns across the continent, and I think what we’ve seen exposed in part is a profound lack of self-confidence that’s precipitated a painful search for identity. On both continents, some have reacted by stoking fear and demanding walls, while others have taken a firm stand against hate and bigotry. [Emphasis added]
One of the brightest lights of all in Europe, Chancellor Merkel, has refused to cave to these undercurrents, despite the political cost. Instead, she has firmly upheld our common values of tolerance and openness — values that ushered in the unprecedented era of peace, prosperity, and progress that overall, overall our world enjoys. [Emphasis added]
To date, Merkel has invited about 1.1 million refugees to Germany since the beginning of the refugee crisis. Today, partially thanks to Merkel’s open borders policy, there are more than 21 million residents of Germany who have a “migrant background” — over a quarter of the nation’s population.
Blinken thanked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan for “championing diversity” by inviting mass migration to their cities in the middle of the refugee crisis.
Refugees in Paris and London have been responsible for a number of deadly terrorist attacks. Still, Blinken said “entering the U.S. as a refugee is the absolute worst strategy for someone to pursue who wants to do damage to the United States.” Between 2001 to 2014, though, 380 of the 580 terrorists who have been convicted in the U.S. have been foreign-born residents.
Also, Blinken said in the speech that he was “committed to growing” the refugee population in the U.S. despite unprecedented levels of refugee resettlement under the Obama administration.
The speech gives insight into Blinken’s potential role as Biden’s secretary of state when it comes to inflating the refugee resettlement program, which Trump has reduced by 80 percent, sought to allow localities to decide whether or not they want to accept refugees, and has halted the program altogether during the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
Biden has said he will restart the program and immediately increase resettlement by 700 percent, setting the annual cap at 125,000, with plans to raise that cap every year for at least four years. Blinken, as secretary of state, would help implement this drastic influx.
Over the last 19 years, more than 985,000 refugees have been admitted to the U.S. This is a number more than double that of residents living in Miami, Florida, and would be the equivalent of adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the country every year.
Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.