In a previously little-noticed video from February at the Clinton Global Initiative, former President Bill Clinton suggested that the U.S. use Syrian refugees to rebuild Detroit.
“The truth is that the big loser in this over the long run is going to be Syria. This is an enormous opportunity for Americans,” Bill Clinton said about the Syrian migrant crisis.
Detroit has 10,000 empty, structurally sound houses—10,000. And lot of jobs to be had repairing those houses. Detroit just came out of bankruptcy and the mayor’s trying to do an innovative sort of urban homesteading program there. But it just gives you an example of what could be done. And I think any of us who have ever had any personal experience with either Syrian Americans or Syrian refugees think it’s a pretty good deal.
It is unclear from the video why Clinton seems to think it would be better to fill these Detroit jobs with imported foreign migrants rather than unemployed Americans already living there, who could perhaps benefit from good-paying jobs.
In the video, Clinton discusses the migrant crisis with billionaire and mass migration enthusiast Hamdi Ulukaya of the Chobani yogurt empire.
Ulukaya has become a figure of controversy for his decision to fill his yogurt plants with foreign refugees rather than unemployed Americans. At the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, Ulukaya encouraged other global elites to follow his lead.
The unearthed video seems to underscore Donald Trump’s recent declaration that, “Hillary Clinton would rather provide a job to a refugee from overseas than to give that job to unemployed African-American youth in cities like Detroit who have become refugees in their own country.”
Hillary Clinton has called for a 550 percent expansion to the importation of Syrian refugees. Based on the minimum figures she has put forth thus far, a President Hillary Clinton could potentially import a population of refugees (620,000) that nearly equals the population of Detroit (677,116).
Trump has previously explained that, “for the amount of money Hillary Clinton would like to spend on refugees, we could rebuild every inner city in America.” According to a September 2015 Rasmussen survey, 85 percent black voters oppose Clinton’s refugee agenda to admit more than 100,000 Middle Eastern refugees—with less than one percent of black voters (.56 percent) in favor of her refugee plan.
Yet during the Clinton Global Initiative discussion, Bill Clinton seemed to suggest that the U.S. ought to accept more Syrian refugees—on top of the tens of thousands of refugees the U.S. already admits annually from other nations across the globe. In particular, Clinton praised Turkey for having taken in 2 million Syrian refugees.
“Turkey, as you probably know, has by far the largest number of Syrian refugees—there are more than 2 million there,” Clinton said.
“The Turks have done a really admirable job of taking in all these refugees,” Clinton said later in his remarks.
“In the last two years, 24 percent of all the new businesses started in Turkey were started by Syrian refugees. I mean, these people are incredibly gifted and very hard working,” Clinton added.
Clinton did not mention the fact that, in the United States, 91.4 percent of recent refugees from the Middle East are on food stamps, and 68.3 percent are on cash welfare, according to data from the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services.
During the discussion, Ulukaya seemed enthusiastic about the potential transformation of entire communities that could result from large-scale immigration.
“There’s a town actually in the eastern part of Turkey, it’s called Kilis, [where] sixty percent of the whole town is refugees. I mean, this all happened in the last three, four years,” Ulukaya said, noting earlier in his remarks that, “I’m proud of what the people of Turkey and what people in the government are trying to do on this issue. It’s huge.”
Clinton suggested that it’s “important” to focus on the entrepreneurship of Syrian migrants rather than address the public’s opposition to the importation of large numbers of refugees from terror-prone regions of the world.
I know what caused all the fear and reluctance. It was Paris. Because 6,000 people went from Europe to ISIS-land, [and] about 1,500 came home. If one percent of them was radicalized then sort of sneaked back in with evil intentions, that’s about how many people it took to kill all of those people in Paris. So people are thinking like that, but the tradition of the Syrians is amazing…
Clinton apparently did not feel it necessary to in any way answer these concerns, other than to simply insists that Syrians are “amazing”. Nor did Clinton address the fact that — as the Chairman of the House Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee has explained — there is “no real way of vetting, to any extent, these refugees coming in.”
To bolster his argument about the entrepreneurial spirit of Middle Eastern refugees, Clinton cited some personal anecdotes.
For instance, Clinton noted that he has a friend working with the IRC who filmed and asked “several thousand” Syrians arriving in Turkey “literally coming off the boat… ‘What were you doing before you left your home?’ And they were overwhelmingly small business people, workers, and not a small number of professionals,” Clinton said.
Clinton later added: “In America… the largest Syrian settlements are in Cleveland, [Ohio] and Dearborn, Michigan. And if you went up there and said something bad about them, you could get in a fight—not with a Syrian—but with someone who’s Irish or African American or Hispanic or Polish because they are such a part of the community. They have made such amazing contributions.”
Clinton did not address any of the cultural or national security challenges that have accompanied large-scale migration from predominantly Muslim third world nations into these American communities in Michigan and Ohio.
When Clinton asked Ulukaya how many refugees should be brought into the U.S., Ulukaya did not answer specifically, but pointed to the work that Germany has done in accepting large flows of refugees. Trump has previously warned that “Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel”. Ulukaya said:
I listened to Madeleine Albright the other day… She said, you know, we’re not doing enough. And I was in Germany just after. Looking at Hamburg, Hamburg took almost 90,000 refugees. And I was with the mayor and for two days we looked at the refugee centers [and] what they did. They were prepared to take 500-600, you know, that’s what they were doing for years. Now they took 90,000.
Neither Bill Clinton nor Ulukaya mentioned the fact that the U.S. already takes in 70,000 refugees annually — on top of the additional thousands of Syrian refugees President Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed to resettle in the country this year alone.
During the discussion, Ulukaya boasted about how he has “11 different nationalities [represented] in Chobani factories” and how he had to hire “11 different translators into the factory” because the local company employees couldn’t communicate with one another.
“Every summer, we do our Chobani picnic and, you should see, it’s [like the] United Nations in there,” Ulukaya proudly declared about his U.S.-based company.
Ulukaya explained that Syrian refugees “bring flavors to the community just like in… Twin Falls, [Idaho]” where Ulukaya’s yogurt factory is based.
As Leo Hohmann has previously reported, “the state of Idaho, despite its reputation as a mostly white, conservative farm state, has been a popular destination for refugees in recent years”— in large part due to Ulukaya’s efforts to import refugees to work in his yogurt factory.
“Ulukaya opened the world’s largest yogurt factory in Twin Falls about two years ago, and the plant now employs 600 people with about 30 percent of those jobs filled by foreign refugees shipped to the U.S. from United Nations camps in the Middle East and Africa,” Hohmann writes.
Twin Falls is in line to receive about 300 refugees this year, many of them Muslims from Syria… The U.S. State Department has shipped more than 11,000 refugees directly from the Third World to Idaho since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Just in the past year, 989 refugees have arrived in the rural state, most of them landing in either Boise or Twin Falls. Nearly half have come from some of the world’s nastiest jihadist hot zones, including 95 from Iraq, 94 from Somalia, 47 from Sudan, 39 from Afghanistan, 31 from Iran, 28 from Syria and 11 from Pakistan, according to the federal refugee database.
In recent months, the mass importation of refugees has become a topic of controversy in Idaho— as American communities have struggled with some unique assimilation challenges posed by large-scale migration from the Third World.
In June, Iraqi and Sudanese refugees allegedly sexually assaulted a five year-old American girl in Twin Falls, Idaho. According to allegations, one refugee attempted to anally and orally penetrate the five-year-old, in addition to urinating on her, while another refugee watched and filmed the assault.
Thirty seconds showed them in the laundry room, they pulled my daughter around, pushed her up against the wall, pulled her pants off, he dropped his pants, he was trying to get her from behind… after that… [he] tried doing the front… oral [sex] with her, he shoved it in her mouth…He peed all over her in her mouth, all over her body, her face, head… [he] defiled her.
Then in August, an African refugee, Mohammed Hussein Elda, allegedly trapped and sexually assaulted a 33 year-old mentally disabled woman in Twin Falls, Idaho.
In order to deal with some of the challenges to assimilation, the Office for Idaho Refugees produced a brochure to help American employers who are looking to hire refugees and need assistance in dealing with the cultural differences of new arrivals from the third world.
The brochure recommends, in some cases, avoiding eye contact with migrant employees, which for Burmese migrants can be “considered an act of challenge”. The brochure also recommends avoiding discussion about employee’s female family members, which to Afghan migrants can be seen as “an act requiring revenge”.
Clinton concluded the CGI discussion by praising Ulukaya for his work in Twin Falls and urged other CEOs present at the Clinton Global Initiative to follow Ulukaya’s example. “We need more companies like this,” Clinton said.