Closer look at refugee screening process in U.S.

An exhausted boy is helped by his mother at a beach, after their arrival on a dinghy from the Turkish coast on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Greek authorities say at least nine people, including four children, have died in the eastern Aegean Sea when a plastic boat carrying refugees or economic migrants overturned near the island of Kos. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Lawmakers are urging President Obama to stop plans to allow Syrian refugees to re-settle in the United States in the wake of the attacks in Paris, France. Some lawmakers feel accepting Syrians is a recipe for disaster.

The State Department stresses there are procedures in place to stop terrorists. Among them: Refugees face several background checks from federal agencies. They’re also required to meet face to face with U.S. officials for in-person interviews. Applicants also face health screenings to prevent any contagious diseases from reaching America.

The selection process is not only long, but extremely picky. Only a small number applicants who apply are ever actually accepted.

Refugees are not granted automatic citizenship. For the first 12 months they are under a special status, which allows them to find jobs and work.

Most refugees do receive assistance with housing and education, but only for a short time before they’re expected to be self sufficient. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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