A ‘Robust and Layered’ Approach to Refugee Screening

Communications Associate

November 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following is a statement by John Sandweg, Former Acting Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

“The United States employs a robust and layered approach to the screening of refugees. Prior to setting foot on U.S. soil, refugees must first clear a comprehensive background investigation that includes multiple layers of in-person interviews, biographic and biometric background checks, and interviews of third-persons who may have information related to the individual. No refugee may be admitted into the U.S. unless and until this lengthy process is complete and reveals no information that would suggest the person poses a security risk.

“This system is very different from the current situation in Europe, where countries are forced to vet refugees after they arrive in their country.

“In the context of the current refugee crisis in Europe, we shouldn’t forget that refugees by and large are fleeing the despicable behavior of those who perpetrated Friday’s attacks in Paris.”