Refugees

  • 01.01.17

    Immigration and Naturalization Law Through The Years

    This article from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gives an overview of immigration law in the United States from the initial "relatively free and open immigration" during the 18th and early 19th centuries, through the changes to the policy based on internal views on immigrant in the United States, and the...

    This article from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gives an overview of immigration law in the United States from the initial "relatively free and open immigration" during the 18th and early 19th centuries, through the changes to the policy based on internal views on immigrant in the United States, and the changes that were in response to international events like World War I, World War II, and September 11.

    Each legal element changed the makeup and experience of immigrants entering the United States, as well as the focus of immigration services. The USCIS states that after 9/11, "The emphasis of American immigration law enforcement became border security and removing criminal aliens to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. At the same time the United States retained its commitment to welcoming lawful immigrants and supporting their integration and participation in American civic culture."

  • 09.20.16

    Refugee Crisis: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

    In this video released after terrorist attacks in Paris in 2016, John Oliver looks at how refugees and specifically those from Syria, can be admitted to the United States. He lists the steps: Apply through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (less than 1% end up being recommended for resettleme...

    In this video released after terrorist attacks in Paris in 2016, John Oliver looks at how refugees and specifically those from Syria, can be admitted to the United States. 

    He lists the steps:

    1. Apply through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (less than 1% end up being recommended for resettlement)

    2. Vetting process at the State Department including screenings through  the National Counter Terrorism Center, the FBI, and The Department of Homeland Security.

    3. If you are a Syrian Refugee. You get the “Syria Advanced Review”

    4. Interview with the USCIS offices and fingerprinted to run through the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense databases.

    5. Health screenings

    6. Enrolled in cultural information classes while your information is checked again.

    Ultimately, Oliver argues that while there is no way to guarantee that a terrorist would not be able to somehow make it through this screening process, that risk is very low while the benefits for those refugees are very high. In reality, of the 784,000 people who have entered the United States, only 3 have been arrested for planning terrorist activities - Oliver jokes that more people in the U.S. are killed in cars, by peanuts, drowning, and by cows, than by refugees.