No, Thousands of Syrian Refugees Are Not Arriving in New Orleans

As news of the attacks in Paris spread, ostensibly conservative websites began running breathtaking reports about an invasion of “refugees” (their scare quotes).

Here’s one from a site I see frequently on my Facebook feed, The Conservative Treehouse.

Conservative Treehouse Syrian Refugees

Later on, after the photo and scary subhead, the blog post links to Powdered Wig Society‘s post on the topic. Here’s how they handle it.

Powdered Wig Society Syrian refugees

Aren’t you scared? Don’t you want to share these posts with your friends so they can see the mass of Islamic terrorist men that are streaming into our country?

The better questions are: do you care about the truth and do you want to undermine your credibility and reputation so conspiracy theorist bloggers can make more money on pop-up ad revenue?

If you do just a tiny bit of research, you can find that only a handful of Syrian refugees have arrived in New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans reported that in total the state has received 13 Syrian refugees.

According to the Catholic relief agency in Louisiana helping to place the refugees, they’ve worked with two families. Yep, families, which include, I have to assume, women and children.

If you want to actually know about those coming in, here is a news story from Fox 8 in New Orleans about the refugees arriving.

The claim that most of the refugees are 18-45 year old men is false. The Fox 8 story does include this quote from a terrorism expert and  former FBI chief: “It’s going to be the 18 to 45-year-old male for the most part.”

But the context of that is him speaking of those who will undergo the most scrutiny before being allowed to enter the U.S. He’s saying anyone in that demographic will face extensive screening before they have any hope of getting through.

That is the demographic from which we will investigate and reject the most people, not accept. The stories are objectively wrong in what they claim.

According to the UN, less than half of the Syrian refugees are male. And more importantly, only 22% are males aged 18-59.

But what about the photo both sites use? That’s dozens of men. Clearly, this is a group of male Muslim terrorists invading the Big Easy this weekend under Obama’s command, right? Shockingly, not so much.

With a simple Google search, I discovered it’s a Reuters photo … from Hungary … in September. Here’s the new story from The Christian Science Monitor.

Christian Science Monitor syrian refugees

OK, so it’s in Budapest and not New Orleans and it’s from two months ago not this weekend, but that’s still all men claiming to be refugees … except that little boy holding a banana peel on the right side of the front row, but ignore him. This is just about military aged men invading Europe and America, right?

Well, here’s the other photo that ran with the CS Monitor story.

CS Monitor syrian refugees

Not quite as ominous looking as the other photo is it?

So what is actually happening with Middle Eastern individuals and families seeking refugee status?

The conservative sites point to an AFP story to show that Obama is bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees. What they don’t talk about, from the same story, is the scrutiny under which these refugees are placed.

Some 18,000 of these people — chosen because they are the most vulnerable whether through family circumstances, injury or disability — have been referred to the United States for resettlement.

Once the US State Department receives their case files it employs NGO contractors to pre-screen them for eligibility for refugee status, then they are subjected to health and security checks.

Officers from the Department of Homeland Security fly from Washington to the camps and conduct interviews with candidates, seeking to weed out what a US official called “liars, criminals and terrorists.”

Each case file is reviewed by the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s terrorist screening center, the DHS, the Department of Defense and “other agencies” — US intelligence.

“Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States,” another State Department official told reporters.

Meanwhile they receive medical tests and those with communicable diseases, most commonly tuberculosis, are given treatment before they can travel to the United States, often delaying the process.

Understanding all the facts of the situation completely undermines the story being pushed by these websites.

This is why I immediately discount any story I see from these types of sites. They aren’t concerned about the truth.

Here’s just a small list of fake or false news stories that were written and/or spread by conservatives and Christians across social media:

You cannot lament the dishonesty of mainstream media outlets while promoting and sharing stories from conservative blogs that do nothing but exaggerate, mislead and blatantly lie to push their agenda.

As I wrote about one of the numerous Facebook privacy hoaxes:

Your credibility is expendable and can run dry quickly. I find it almost impossible to not evaluate differently the words of someone who shares hoaxes and conspiracies on social media. They have spent their trust and have little means to gain it back.

No, Syrian refugees are not pouring across our borders. No, the president is not bringing in thousands of Muslim men with terrorist backgrounds and inclinations.

It is no less blameworthy to lie in the name of conservatism than to lie in general. Stop sharing these stories. Stop visiting these sites.


  1. Donna

    I think about how Jesus said we are to help one another…

    Leviticus 19:33-34
    When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34’The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

    Exodus 22:21
    Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.

    Deuteronomy 10:19
    So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

    Deuteronomy 24:17-18
    Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.
    Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.

    Deuteronomy 27: 19
    “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”

    Ezekiel 16:49
    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

    Hebrews 13:2
    2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

    1 Peter 3:9
    Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

    Jus sayin… If what is written in our Bible that we all claim to read / believe / BASE OUR FAITH ON – if this isnt enough commandments… Then there is no hope for our human race to ever be a united bunch of souls – until God calls us all Home. What then?
    Do we – as Christians, get to just choose the parts of the Bible that suite our needs and purposes? Choose the parts that fit in with how we want things to be?!

    This world needs to get a grip. None of us – NOBODY – is going to live forever. Isnt the very commandment to Love One Another the most important action that we as humans can do? I understand politics, war, and strategic safety – but I believe what God told us is more important than human agenda.

    And Im not religious – Im spiritual. I wish people would start living with their hearts instead of their fear.

  2. James

    Thanks Donna for representing what the love of Christ is to me and the world. Let’s see people as God does. Beloved.


    How do you search Google for the images above to see where they originated? I want to be able to do that.

  4. Randy

    Donna I just can’t bring myself to see those passages from the Bible and not think they they are from a slave mentality. Most of them use the motivation of sympathy for slavery and pre-date Jesus.

  5. Frances Clark

    To be fair, you really should cite the liberal propaganda that circulates in the media such as Anne Frank’s Father being denied U.S. Citizenship. The real report indicates they would have received citizenship if he had applied a bit sooner. Also, they received a visa to Cuba but the German gov’t canceled it before they could leave. It is not shameful to protect our children from dangerous situations. Welcome the women, children, and elderly, their threat is minimal.

  6. valtHemom

    exactly francis clark there exists a two headed snake called left and right and the extreme of both of these arms Does Not represent we the people. old way to fight. called divide and conquer. nothing new here smae old world snakes doing dark deeds to gear up a popukace for division hoping we will cry out for the federal govt to help us smh!!

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Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.