In the News / January 2017

What does “extreme vetting” mean?

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We have heard the phrase “extreme vetting” used many times by elected officials, but it is clear that there is a lot of misinformation that doesn’t reflect how “extreme” the vetting already is.

The Los Angeles times writes that “the refugee intake program begins with the United Nations (High) Commissioner for Refugees, which registers individuals claiming to be refugees. The agency determines, usually through an interview, whether an applicant qualifies under international laws for refugee status and collects identity documents, biographical information, and biometric data, such as iris scans for Syrians.”

“I just struggle to see how it can be made much more thorough than it already is,” said John Sandweg, former acting general counsel to the Department of Homeland Security and former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “It’s an intentionally slow process. It’s a multilayered and multilevel approach.”

Read a thorough analysis of the existing vetting process for refugees in the Los Angeles times.

Refugees undergo a multi-step screening process that can take 18-24 months to complete.


Photo Credit  © “Refugees who fled fighting between government forces and Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul wait to receive aid at a United Nations camp in Syria’s Hasakeh province. (Delil Souleiman / AFP/Getty Images).”

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