Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Please don’t say there is no vetting…..

Please don’t say there is no vetting…..

In conversations (in real life and online) about the 90 day 7 country travel ban...and the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees....I often hear "we are just letting everyone in" without "proper/any vetting." My guess is that many who are calling for extreme vetting have no idea how extensive it already is…...

Please...please educate yourself. If, after reading, considering and fact checking, you still think it’s not enough, then you’ve based your opinion on facts rather than heated political rhetoric from your favorite news source…..

The truth is hard to find because it is buried within an avalanche of fake news and misleading headlines. From my vantage point "in the middle"...neither right nor left, but somewhere in between...I think that both sides are guilty of this misleading, dishonest, click bait type of news.

Let me provide a few links to get you started.....beginning with this one from the Heritage Foundation.

I came upon this link buried deep within hundreds of comments to a Fox News article siding with the ban. Ironically, this article from the Heritage Foundation (a self described conservative site) was posted by a liberal who is against the ban. It describes the vetting process that was in place December 2015..... after the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

It is about the vetting process for refugees. The San Bernardino shooters were not refugees. He was an American born citizen. She came here on a fiancé visa from Pakistan. The vetting process for fiancé visas is different and less intensive than refugee vetting. I believe some changes have been made to that process but I have not researched it.

This article lists the agencies and process involved in the vetting of refugees. It provides an overview of the process, a process that is definitely not "no vetting at all" as I have heard people say many times. Is it enough? Maybe. Maybe not. But it is more thorough than many people believe. Interesting to note that most of the articles on this website express a view that aligns with the right.

In another article in the New York Times entitled Refugees Entering the U.S. Already Face a Rigorous Vetting Process lists twenty steps in the current vetting process. It lists multiple background checks, extensive interviews, fingerprinted three times, checks for communicable diseases, cultural orientation classes, involvement with a refugee settlement agency...and more.

The article claims its information is taken from the State Department; Department of Homeland Security; Center for American Progress; U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; Refugee Council USA

Another really good article that explains the refugee immigration process is one written by Scott Hicks. Here is a blog post about the article. Here is the link to the article on his FB page.

Scott Hicks has practiced immigration law since 1995 and volunteered for many years before then. He is also Pastor at Red Lion United Methodist Church. His FB page is on top of all the many changes going on in our immigration policy. Changes that are happening every day. Plus he has a really pretty Golden Retriever named "Law Dog" that he often posts pictures of.

And one more….an article in the Washington Post by Natasha Hall. Her short bio says she has worked with refugees and on conflict for more than 10 years, specializing in the Middle East. She currently works on humanitarian efforts in Syria and lives in Istanbul, Turkey.

I am just a regular joe but I refuse to post anything on Facebook or here on my blog without at least a cursory fact check. All the articles I’ve listed above appear to be legit….and while they come from many different sources….they all seem to tell of the same thorough process of refugee vetting…...

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