President Obama’s goal to resettle around 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States has many Americans on edge. But are just as many Americans aware of the rigorous screening process refugees go through?
President Obama has stated refugee families undergo a strict, time-consuming process before they are allowed to be settled in the U.S— which differs greatly from many European countries. Joining FOX 7 to provide some clarity on that process is Delisa Bressler, a local Austin immigration attorney.
Some key points:
- Becoming a refugee in the U.S. is an 18 to 24-month application process
- Refugees are screened by several—and different—security agencies (FBI, CIS, Homeland Security, the U.N., the National Counterterrorism Center)
- The U.S. has one of the, if not the, most rigorous refugee vetting process in the world
- Any refugee must be cleared before entering the U.S.
The process includes providing documentation, interviews, fingerprint screening, among others. All the data collected is sent to different intelligence agencies’ databases.
White House officials have also said that geographically, the U.S. doesn’t face the same level of terrorism threat as neighboring countries of war-torn areas or those neighboring terrorism groups.