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After Paris attacks, US governors seek to block Syrian refugees

It is all but impossible to ignore the international crisis that was set off recently when a wave of terrorist attacks resulted in hundreds of people being killed or injured in areas around Paris. The devastating attacks were reportedly carried out by members of the Islamic State group ISIS and one of the attackers is believed to have entered Paris by posing as a Syrian refugee.

In light of this last detail, people all over the U.S. have declared support for suspending the resettling of any Syrian refugees in this country. However, critics of this stance argue that doing this will keep out people who are desperate to escape a dangerous place for the refuge of this country. No matter which side of this debate you may stand on, it is crucial that you understand the extensive and lengthy process for vetting refugees that is already in place in the U.S.

To begin with, resettlement in the U.S. is not guaranteed for any refugee. It may be more likely if that person has family here, but most refugees have no idea where and if they will ultimately resettle.

A refugee will also have to go through a comprehensive and lengthy process involving multiple federal agencies. They will have to be fingerprinted and interviewed about their background and relationships; their criminal records will be examined; the reason for fleeing a country will also be scrutinized. 

In many cases, this whole process takes two years. So it is important to appreciate the fact that established measures are in place to vet refugees in the interest of national safety. However, governors in states across the U.S., including right here in Florida, have announced their commitment to blocking Syrian refugee resettlement until the vetting process is reinforced with additional checks and processes.

Whether the current vetting process will change or not is unknown. However, what is known is that the immigration system in the U.S. is far from being fast or easy. There are many complications that can arise whether you are a refugee resettling in here or a businessman looking to come and start a company. Should legal challenges come up, it can be wise to discuss them with an attorney.

Source: NPR, "4 Things To Know About The Vetting Process For Syrian Refugees," Brian Naylor, Nov. 18, 2015

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