The Doubtful Refugee Screening Process


At the outset, let me say that I’m not fully committed to the no-Syrian-refugees position, either on a temporary or permanent basis.  However, there’s something suspicious in the quick progressive push-back against concerns about the process.  For some, it’s simply a partisan position.  For others, it’s the progressive foible of the total domination of feelings and simplified morality:  Refusing people who are fleeing danger is bad, and I’m not bad, so therefore any resistance to this specific refugee process, performed by this specific presidential administration, is immoral.

When it comes down to it, very few of the people raising concerns about Syrian refugees are absolutists.  Letting in two-year-old Christians, for example, would not meet much, if any resistance.  In other words, while one side is arguing principle, the other is arguing process.

I bring the issue up again because a Facebook thread initiated by Matt Fecteau includes a link to a White House infographic about the refugee-acceptance process, and reading through it reinforces concerns about the process.  Fecteau repeatedly insists that the burden completely falls on the candidate for refugee status, but that’s really not what the steps illustrate.  Sure, they can’t withhold information that they have (and get caught), but it’s entirely a process of checking the information that’s available.  In a war-torn country (that wasn’t exactly First World to begin with), that’s a risky proposition.

The steps rely almost entirely on the records of the United States, or those to which it has access, which might weed out the upper tiers of those involved in global jihad, but certainly not all those who are just sympathizers or who have simply not done anything, yet.  Moreover, there’s no indication of risk for potentially risky refugees if they are caught.

The most important point, however, continues to be the lack of trust that the Obama Administration has earned.  The refugee process puts the burden on a bureaucracy under a petulant, ideological executive, and that executive has decreed that he wants 10,000 people pushed through this system in the next year.

The fact that so many people are responding to concerns about this matter with accusations of bigotry is a sign both that there’s even more reason to fear that the process won’t be well executed and that our society has a serious cultural illness.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Isn’t everyone “vetted” before they step on an airplane? I have learned to be comfortable standing around in my socks.

    • Mike Rollins

      A terrorist with proper training can fly here totally naked, then improvise whatever terrorist devices he, or she may need whenever those devices are actually needed.

      • Mike Rollins

        It probably should also be mentioned that at least one Middle Eastern terrorist attack was committed by a suicide bomber with a bomb inserted into his own rectum, so even flying totally naked might not offer full protection against terrorism.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          Our idea of “security” seems entirely reactive, and a “feel good”. No one had to take off their shoes until what’s his name attempted to explode his shoe. Anyone (such as myself) who made bombs as a kid knows there is nothing difficult in making IED’s. Look what they did with fertilizer. As kids, we knew about “farmer’s dynamite”.

          My real point was the complaints about vetting Syrians. We all have to go through a little, so what is so wrong with asking more of foreign nationals?

  • Mike678

    Vetting is nice, but almost worthless. We are in a war of cultures. These refugees may be great in their Muslim dominated country, but perhaps not so great when their culture and religious beliefs are challenged in a western dominated society. Look to Paris where integration does not occur…instead we have areas where Paris police do not enter…or did not until their citizens were slaughtered by the intolerant.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Why look to Paris, look to Detroit and Baltimore. “Inner cities” are basically a different culture, connected to America only by television. I am not not saying the police will not go there. But, I am saying that where the populace will not cooperate, the police may be stymied.