Here is the link to the article in the New York Times. But I am going to cut an paste it here in it’s entirety. The GOP acts like we just put them on an airplane and voila, overnight fly them to the United States…when it actually takes two years of background checks and screenings.

Why It Takes Two Years for Syrian Refugees to Enter the U.S.


Syrians must pass many layers of security checks before being admitted to the United States, a process that can take two years or longer. In most cases, the refugees do not enter the United States until the very end. They are also subject to an additional layer of checks beyond those for refugees of other nationalities; after the Paris attacks, the House voted to further tighten screening procedures. Since 2011, the United States has admitted fewer than 2,000 Syrian refugees.

1. Registration with the United Nations.

2. Interview with the United Nations.

3. Refugee status granted by the United Nations.

4. Referral for resettlement in the United States.

The United Nations decides if the person fits the definition of a refugee and whether to refer the person to a country for resettlement. Only the most vulnerable are referred, accounting for fewer than 1 percent of refugees worldwide. Some people spend years waiting in refugee camps.

5. Interview with State Department contractors.

6. First background check.

7. Higher-level background check for some.

8. Another background check.

The refugee’s name is run through law enforcement and intelligence databases for terrorist or criminal history. Some go through a higher-level clearance before they can continue. A third background check was introduced in 2008 for Iraqis but has since been expanded to all refugees ages 14 to 65.

9. First fingerprint screening; photo taken.

10. Second fingerprint screening.

11. Third fingerprint screening.

The refugee’s fingerprints are screened against F.B.I. and Homeland Security databases, which contain watch list information and past immigration encounters, including if the refugee previously applied for a visa at a United States embassy. Fingerprints are also checked against those collected by the Defense Department during operations in Iraq.

12. Case reviewed at United States immigration headquarters.

13. Some cases referred for additional review.

Syrian applicants must undergo these two additional steps. Each is reviewed by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services refugee specialist. Cases with “national security indicators” are given to the Homeland Security Department’s fraud detection unit.

14. Extensive, in-person interview with Homeland Security officer.

Most of the interviews with Syrians have been done in Jordan and Turkey.

15. Homeland Security approval is required.

If the House bill becomes law, the director of the F.B.I., the Homeland Security secretary and the director of national intelligence would be required to confirm that the applicant poses no threat.

16. Screening for contagious diseases.

17. Cultural orientation class.

18. Matched with an American resettlement agency.

19. Multi-agency security check before leaving for the United States.

Because of the long amount of time between the initial screening and departure, officials conduct a final check before the refugee leaves for the United States.

20. Final security check at an American airport.

I am not sure that I would have the patience to put up with this…those who do are obviously in pretty desperate straits.

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One Response to What It Takes For a Refugee to Reach the US

  1. Duane12 says:

    The real problem, short term, is granting visas to “visitors” with a foreign passport.

    Granting entrance to refugees as outlined in Ed’s submission is not cause for concern and in fact is a GOP distraction! Visas are the real security problem which needs to be addressed immediately.

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