Throughout his extremely divisive presidential campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly talked about banning Muslims from entering the United States.
Now that he has done just that by suspending entry of all refugees for at least 90 days and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely, he seems unhappy that people are calling out his xenophobic travel restriction for what it is: a Muslim ban.
The billionaire defended the executive order halting immigration from seven countries, which wreaked havoc across the world and sparked a series of protests all over the country, with a badly worded tweet and seemingly misplaced quotation marks.
If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad "dudes" out there!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
While the emphasis on “dudes” is certainly intriguing, it is the commander-in-chief’s argument for the ban itself that is a little confusing.
Does Trump know anything about the rigorous vetting process asylum seekers go through before they are finally able to enter the U.S.? News flash: It literally takes refugees years to complete their background checks and obtain visas.
In fact, even those applying for student, tourist or work visas have to wait for a certain period of time, which may extend from a few weeks to even months depending on the country.
Therefore, Trump’s case against a “one-week notice” that would have made the “bad” rush in to the U.S. is as far from reality as his assertions about having a replacement plan for Obamacare.
The current refugee screening process is meticulous, lengthy and involves the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the FBI and the Department of Defense, to name a few.
Syrians fleeing war and destruction at home are subjected to additional security checks.
Here is a breakdown of the process:
1. Those seeking asylum register with the United Nations
2. The applicants appear in an interview with a U.N. official
3. The U.N. then grants the applicant refugee status
4. The organization then decides whether to refer the person for resettlement in the U.S. or some other part of the world
5. If referred to the U.S., the State Department contractors then interview the applicants
6. Security agencies conduct first round of background checks
7. In some cases, there are higher-level background checks that take even more time
8. All the names are screened through law enforcement and intelligence databases for terrorist or criminal history
9. First fingerprint screening
10. Second fingerprint screening
11. Third fingerprint screening
12. In-person interview with a Homeland Security officer
13. Homeland Security has to approve the applicant
16. The applicant is screened for contagious diseases
17. They attend cultural orientation class
18. They are matched with a resettlement agency working in the U.S.
19. Another round of multi-agency security checks before departure
20. Final security check at arrival
The Syrian immigrants go through additional steps: The United States immigration headquarters reviews their cases, referring some for additional review.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters