The Not-So-Rigorous Vetting Process for Syrian Refugees is About to Get Even Less Vigorous
The “vigorous” vetting process that missed numerous red flags that might have kept San Bernardino jihadist Tafsheen Malik out of the country is about to become even less vigorous – like, up to eight times less vigorous.
In order to meet President Obama’s self-imposed goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees by Sept. 30, the administration has decided to cut some corners on the screening process that is supposed to assure the American public that people who pose a danger to the country will be kept out.
In fact, what the administration is planning goes way beyond cutting a few corners. Instead of the normal 18-24 months that it takes to carry out background checks on people from what is perhaps the most dangerous country on earth (in other words, well into the next president’s administration), that process will be shortened to just three months. The plan is to accommodate what is being described as a “surge” of Syrian refugees between now and the end of the current fiscal year, regardless of the security risks it might pose.
About 1,000 refugees processed through the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, were resettled in the U.S. last week, as part of the first wave of the surge. Embassy refugee coordinator Gina Kassem noted that the numbers could be considerably higher than the 10,000 target. “[The 10,000 target] is a floor, not a ceiling and it is possible to increase the number,” she said.
The rush to resettle Syrians in the U.S., even if it means compromising already inadequate security checks, comes just two weeks after the attacks in Brussels and renewed promises by ISIS to infiltrate operatives in Western nations to carry out terrorist attacks.
Of course, Congress – led by Republicans who have publicly warned that mass resettlement of Syrian refugees poses a significant national security risk – had the opportunity to cut off funding for the resettlement, or at least to force the president and Senate Democrats to justify risking homeland security. But, as usual, they did nothing.
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