Much attention has been focused on the security vetting refugees must go through before they come to the United States, particularly after it was revealed that one of the terrorists in the Paris attacks entered Europe through a refugee processing center.
Several federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are involved in the process, which Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner recently called, “the most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States.”
These agencies use biographical and biometric information about applicants to conduct a background check and make sure applicants really are who they say they are.
The applicant is interviewed by a DHS officer with training in this screening process as well as specialized training for Syrian and Iraqi refugee cases. And refugees from Syria actually go through another layer of screening, called the Syria Enhanced Review process.
According to senior administration officials, more than half of the Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. so far are children. “Single men of combat age” represent only 2% of those admitted.