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.