Thursday, April 7, 2016
Fast Tracking Potential Terrorists: New U.S. Syrian Refugee Surge - Processing Time Slashed to 3 Months
As the Obama administration institutes a “surge” aimed at meeting its goal – currently way off-target – of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, the Associated Press has cited an official at the U.S. Embassy in Amman as saying that the time taken to process each admission is being cut to three months.
“While the resettlement process usually takes 18 to 24 months, under the surge operation this will be reduced to three months, [regional refugee coordinator Gina] Kassem said,” the AP reported Wednesday.
With the fiscal year now more than half over, the number of Syrian refugees admitted as of Wednesday stands at 1,353, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.
In order to meet the 10,000 target by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, the AP report said that around 600 Syrian refugees were being interviewed daily at a “resettlement surge center” which was opened in Amman last February.
“The U.N. Refugee Agency prioritizes the most vulnerable cases for resettlement, and then refers them to the U.S. to review, Kassem said. She said that priority is given to high-risk groups such as victims of torture and gender based violence and unaccompanied minors,” the AP reported.
Queries sent to the U.S. Embassy in Amman requesting clarity on the reported three-month processing time did not receive a response by press time.
Throughout the debate over the potential security implications of President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. in FY2016, the administration has stressed that the application process – which includes....
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