Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution at the hands of ISIS are being turned away at the American border despite having family sponsors - as thousands of Muslims are granted asylum.
At least 27 of the targeted minority, known as Chaldeans, have been held in detention in San Diego since entering through the Mexican border this spring.
Now, after months of waiting, 22 have denied asylum and sent back across the Atlantic to Europe, as another five await a verdict.In total, America had accepted just 727 fleeing Christians at the start of 2015 - a fraction of the 4,200 Muslims granted asylum - and few since.While statistically there are far fewer Christians than Muslims in the region, Lisa Jones, executive director of Christian Freedom International, told Daily Mail Online the minority group appear to face greater obstacles to reach safety.
'It makes no sense,' Jones said.
'These are people from a Christian culture like our own that needs protection from ISIS. It is harder for Christians to move around Iraq and Syria to even get the chance to seek asylum.
'While many more Muslims are granted asylum over here, Christians are being systematically exterminated.'President Obama has made bold claims to support refugee crises in Europe and protect persecuted citizens in the Middle East.
The Islamic State has waged war on the Christian communities dotted across Iraq and Syria, forcing them to convert to be in with a slim chance of escaping execution. However, United States policy dictates that they require proof of being directly persecuted.According to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, five of the group have been charged with lying on their application forms by failing to declare that they have German passports.
The five criminally charged have been identified as Eva and Thamer Sadek Eshoa, Reta Marrogi, Valentina Adil Slewa Zori and Devid Benjamen Nooh Yako. They face five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
The rest of the group, who also had family sponsors, have been directed towards Germany and Sweden, the hot spots for refugees in Europe.
'They have family members, also Christians, who are willing to take them in,' Jones told Daily Mail Online. 'It used to be that that would be a huge help. It's not clear why they, of all people, are being turned away while others are accepted.'