Letters to the Editor

Vetting process has 20 steps

Steve Rosenoff needs to check his facts before he starts flying the Confederate flag. He obviously has no idea of the process of vetting that already is done before a refugee can enter the U.S.

The following 20-step process was published in the NYT Jan 29. “The current screening process for all involves many layers of security checks before entry into the country, and Syrians were subject to an additional layer of checks. Sometimes, the process takes up to two years.” It starts with registration and interview by the U.N., which grants status and determines the country of resettlement.

Interviews with the state department and three sets of background checks, then three fingerprint screenings against FBI, Homeland Security and Dept of Defense databases if U.N. approves. Then a review by U.S. immigration. Syrians undergo two additional reviews. Then interviews with Homeland Security and screening for contagious diseases, cultural orientation class, and assignment to an American resettlement agency.

There are multi-agency security checks before leaving for the United States. Because of the length of time between the initial screening and departure, officials check again before the refugee leaves for the United States. There is one final security check at an American airport.

When is the last time Steve or anyone he knows was subjected to even one twentieth of this process?

Sources: State Department; Department of Homeland Security; Center for American Progress; U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; Refugee Council USA.