In partnership with its United Nations allies, through international agreements, and on humanitarian grounds, the U.S. has resettled refugees from war-torn countries for decades.
A quota is set by the Department of State. In making assessments, seasoned foreign service officers employ a lengthy and sophisticated vetting process, supported by data from Interpol and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies commanding a global reach.
The entire process, which can take years, is codified within applicable federal law (8 CFR, INA). But neither is it a foolproof method nor a crystal ball.
In 2002, the Tsarnaev brothers fled the Chechen conflict as refugees and were granted asylum in the U.S. Eleven years later, as radicalized jihadists, they bombed the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and injuring hundreds.
This is the risk involved in living in a country committed to the principles set forth in Liberty’s “New Colossus”; namely, that we’re truly a home to huddled masses yearning to breathe free, to the wretched refuse of the world, to the tempest-tossed.
Surely we cannot turn our backs on drowned toddlers washed up on Turkish beaches. Hysteria and fear-mongering are no answer. Today we must be fearless.
Ed Miller, Fresno