Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Bootstrap
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Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:16 pm

From the Christlike Response thread:

Robert wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:We are talking about a program that admits a tiny fraction of refugees after careful vetting that takes years.


Who does that vetting and how do they do it when there is no government in place?

I am not personally scared of refugees, but you make it sound like this is a very secure process. This is why so many are. The vetting process is not really that good.


Of course the vetting is not done by the government they are fleeing. That wouldn't make sense, and it's not what happens. Let me outline the process - if you think this process is not good, please tell me what you think extreme vetting would do that is not already done now. So far, nobody seems to be answering that question.

I've shared this graphic a couple of times now, it answers the questions about process. The first round of vetting is done by various agencies, often involving the United Nations, the government of the country they fled to, and various relief agencies. Even at this point, they are using biometric data, iris scans, fingerprints, etc.

Then about 1% of these are referred for possible resettlement to the United States. Our government looks at the referrals and decides which ones we are interested in, and they go through several rounds of vetting, starting with the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department, looking for connections to bad actors, criminal records, warrants, immigration records, etc. If they are from Syria, the Department of Homeland Security does enhanced screening, and can refer cases to Customs and Immigration Fraud Detection or the National Security Directorate. This process continues as long as they are discovering new information - including discovering a previously used phone number or address that was not know beforehand.

If they get this far in the process, they are then given an interview with the Department of Homeland Security and with Customs and Immigration Services, their fingerprints are taken and submitted and checked against American databases. (For some reason, fingerprints are taken several times at different stages, then tested against different systems.) If questions are raised at the interview or as a result of screening the fingerprints, the process of review continues until all issues are resolved.

If they get that far, there's one more round of Biometric screening, testing against FBI and Department of Homeland Security databases, checking also the watch-list and prior encounters with immigration in the United States and overseas. Fingerprints are also screened against the U.S. Department of Defense database, including fingerprints of people encountered in the Iraq wars and other engagements.

If any security concerns are identified, it doesn't go beyond this point.

If they clear security screening, they go on for medical screening. Cases can be denied due to some medical conditions, or they can treat some diseases to bring them to health before allowing them into the United States.

If they pass both security screening and medical screening, they then get cultural orientation and are paired with an NGO charity like World Relief and attend cultural orientation classes. They make plans for travel. While waiting, they are still being screened to see if any new information comes up.

Then they fly to the United States. During the flight, they have the normal visa, border, and immigration checks that everyone else goes though if they get a student visa or business visa, but it's unlikely that anything will turn up because the process they have been through is so much more stringent.


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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:32 pm

Valerie wrote:You and many leftist seem to paint the picture there is no reason to take radical steps to secure our borders from terrorism. Just today another attack in Paris. So- we are doing a better job 'here' than others are- it's not the 'lack of plans' that we don't see more terrorist attacks here but perhaps DHS is doing a better job.


Exactly.

We do need to take radical steps to protect ourselves. We do a lot better than Europe, our process is much more secure than theirs. I really hope I'm not pretending that we don't need to take the measures that are already in place. But I think we already have "extreme vetting". (I'm not sure who is painting the picture that we don't need that. Certainly not the refugee organizations that I work with. Having a terrorist slip through and poison support for refugees is a real nightmare scenario, nobody wants that.)

I have a hard time imagining what steps would be more thorough than what we are already doing. And so far, I haven't seen anything that looks like an explanation of what the weaknesses are in the current system, what new steps should be taken, and why. People I know who are very familiar with the current process are baffled by that question.
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Robert » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:59 pm

You explained how not who. Who are the people doing all this? Do you know any of them personally and can you vouch for their sincerity and that they are not accepting any bribes? How do you know these people are really people of integrity?
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:53 pm

Robert wrote:You explained how not who. Who are the people doing all this? Do you know any of them personally and can you vouch for their sincerity and that they are not accepting any bribes? How do you know these people are really people of integrity?


You are implying that we can't trust the United State's National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, and Customs and Immigration Fraud Detection or the National Security Directorate because they might be taking bribes?

I know some people who help refugees once they have been cleared by these other agencies, but our government does not trust NGOs to do the screening. With good reason.
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ohio jones
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby ohio jones » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:44 pm

I think it would be more human[e] to have them examined by a medical doctor rather than a vet.
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby PeterG » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:55 pm

Robert wrote:You explained how not who. Who are the people doing all this? Do you know any of them personally and can you vouch for their sincerity and that they are not accepting any bribes? How do you know these people are really people of integrity?

If bribery is actually a problem in this system (is there evidence of this?), I don't see how the recent executive orders will make any difference. People who accepted bribes to get around the old rules will be happy to do the same with the new rules. Refugees become tourists and Syrians become Saudis, all for a reasonable fee.
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Robert » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:05 am

Bootstrap wrote:You are implying that we can't trust the United State's National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, and Customs and Immigration Fraud Detection or the National Security Directorate because they might be taking bribes?

I know some people who help refugees once they have been cleared by these other agencies, but our government does not trust NGOs to do the screening. With good reason.


I am purposely polarizing the opposite direction to try to show the extremes. Some are on the other extreme. I think you lean that way.

Here is the challenge. A radicalized person does not look like some evil Jihadi that has RPG strapped to their backs. They are normal people who have become extreme in their hearts because maybe they lost a family member to a drone strike or some such thing. They are normal in many ways. They are sought out and pushed to immigrate. They know who looks normal to us. They use that. Those who are trying to get people in place know the system and work it for their purposes. The US government does the same in other places. It happens everywhere.

The Islamic ideology has been radicalized. Christianity was militarized once. Some may feel it still is. I mourn that, but accept that "we" did it. There was a time that those who claimed Christianity were pretty bad hombres.

Whitewashing all refugees is blind to the realities of humanity. Most will be okay, but some are here for another purpose. One purpose may be to hurt people. Some are here to hurt the system. Not all cultures are as impatient as we are. I would, and have helped whomever I have encountered. I am not saying we, as followers of Jesus, should not help those in need. I am saying using one experience and pressing it to change government policy is ... naive. I lived in a town with 500 people and 100 were Muslim. There is a Mosque. We also had about 200+ Amish. I am not ignorant of the different cultures and have had and seen many encounters and experiences with each. I found, like all people, they are complicated, but not as passive as the Amish. They have plans and purpose. They work towards it. It is their right, but we have to be honest about it. They brought their culture with them and want to keep it. They are not assimilating, nor do they want to.

Islam is not the peaceful religion many have tried to paint it as. Christianity was not at one time either. The difference is Jesus teaches us to be peaceful and is often ignored. In Islam, Mohammad teaches to be violent and is often ignored. Those radicalized are doing exactly what Mohammad did.

Lastly, the most persecuted in Syria right now are the Christians, yet I have heard little outcry for our brothers and sisters of faith. This is one reason why Trump wanted to move them to the front of the line, yet all the liberal outcry says let them die. They are being targeted. Not just in the way but being sought out. I would say bring the Muslims over if I saw a country predominately Christian seeking out and killing them because of their faith. Yet this is happening and most are totally silent about it. While I may not agree with Trump on how he is going about it, at least someone is seeing this and wanting to address it.

So in closing, I am just saying this is a very complicated issue and not something as simple as many make it. It it was easy, it would be solved by now. Vetting is happening, but it can and is being worked around. There are some who are very intent on doing harm. They are not stupid and have complicated plans in place. I am not afraid of someone from the Middle East or Muslim. I also know that they are complicated and have long term plans. Some passive, some not so much. I am also not afraid of an attack here. I see it no more costly then an attack elsewhere in the world. I am just afraid if it happens here again and it is of a large event, much of the Middle East will disappear under a cloud of smoke.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Bootstrap » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:08 am

Robert wrote:Lastly, the most persecuted in Syria right now are the Christians, yet I have heard little outcry for our brothers and sisters of faith.


You haven't? Seriously? I'll respond to the rest later, but I think many of us were first motivated to do this because of what we saw happening to our Christian brothers. I first encountered this working with Christian scholars from the region. The people I am working with are 90% Christians, many of them motivated by the same thing. This definitely comes up when we pray.
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Robert » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:12 am

PeterG wrote:If bribery is actually a problem in this system (is there evidence of this?), I don't see how the recent executive orders will make any difference. People who accepted bribes to get around the old rules will be happy to do the same with the new rules. Refugees become tourists and Syrians become Saudis, all for a reasonable fee.


The new rules were none for 90 days. Syria, none indefinitely. No, it can not stop it completely, but it gives some the feeling that something is being done. If they feel nothing is being done and another large scale attack happens, there will be another call to war as with W. How much more will Trump do then W? I say a lot.
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Re: Refugees: who vets them, and how?

Postby Bootstrap » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:24 am

Robert wrote:So in closing, I am just saying this is a very complicated issue and not something as simple as many make it.


I agree that this is complicated - and to some extent, it's probably silly for us to pretend any of us can be experts on this.

If the United State's National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Customs and Immigration Fraud Detection or the National Security Directorate tell me that there is a security concern, I'm listening. So far, I'm not hearing that, and nobody seems to be saying what the security concern is.

Robert wrote:If it was easy, it would be solved by now. Vetting is happening, but it can and is being worked around.


Please give me some examples where people are successfully working around the current system. So far, nobody has given real examples. So far, the only example I have heard is the "Bowling Green Massacre", which did not happen.

I bet, there was very little coverage‍—‌I bet it's brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized‍—‌and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. I mean, most people don't know that because it didn't get covered.


There was no coverage because it didn't happen. What did happen is two terrorists slipped in. Nobody was injured or killed, but they attempted to send money and weapons to al-Qaeda in Iraq. They were caught and arrested and are now in prison, one is serving a life sentence and the other is serving a 40 year sentence. There was no attempt to commit violence in the United States.

But that was before the current system. In fact, that's what inspired a lot of the current system of extreme vetting.

I get nervous when authorities take extreme and sudden measures without explaining them, then explain them by telling us about massacres that actually never happened.
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