The Already Selective Refugee Process

My old First Day co-host, Hilary Farrell, has posted a story at her current public radio job about the painstaking process refugees must endure to reach the U.S.:

Chris Cavanaugh is the refugee program manager at Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, an agency directly providing state and local resettlement services.

“It’s really hard to get into the U.S. refugee program,” he says. “It’s a very, very selective – almost handpicked process.”

Cavanaugh says it takes up to two years and sometimes longer before a case reaches his desk. That’s before the refugee or family arrives.

“It’s quite a contrast to the European model, or present situation. That’s more of an asylum situation, where people are intentionally coming into the country and then seeking protection at that point,” he says. “The U.S. program takes much longer – you can’t come into the U.S. and then become a refugee. You’re a refugee overseas and then you have to be vetted and cleared.”

Click on the story to hear Hilary’s story. It’s well-done, as usual.

How much slower must an already slow process be? Why are we allowing Trump to scare us? Better yet, why are we allowing European nationals (who made up most, if not all, of the Paris terrorists) to scare us from allowing Syrians refugees to begin this process?

pat@wsgw.com

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