On Monday the United Nations observed World Refugee Day, and called upon nations across the world to bolster their efforts to accept and care for refugees from around the globe.
But concerns about the vetting process for refugees has led some nations to consider reducing, rather than increasing, the number of asylum seekers from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq.
Critics of open-door immigration policies say that identity theft, forged passports, and a dearth of references or accessible databases in the home countries or asylum seekers makes acceptance of large numbers of refugees a virtual invitation to fraudulent refugee claims and event terror attacks.
A report by CIJnews revealed the extent of the ID counterfeiting industry, and the ease with which convincing forgeries can be obtained.
“It is all a question of money,” one Syrian refugee residing in Europe said. “It is possible within a week to arrange a passport.”
One discovery in particular, however, highlighted the breadth of the problem.
A recently discovered Syrian passport, believed to have been created from a genuine government-issued blank, bears the name, photograph, and personal details of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The story mirrors that of a Dutch journalist, Harald Doornbos, who in late 2015 acquired a Syrian passport with the picture of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
“Real Syrian passports and other official documents have been fraudulently obtainable since at least the early 1990s,” said Tom Quiggin of the Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network. “The documents are usually real, but the information in them is whatever the purchaser requests. Part of this system was set up to allow Syrian citizens, like Muslim Brotherhood members, who had poor relations with the government to get such documents.”