Rep. Stephen Lynch addresses the FAA at a hearing.

Credit: CSPAN Screenshot

Cong. Stephen Lynch: U.S. Already Has Extreme Vetting For Refugees

February 7, 2017

In a recent Tweet defending his controversial travel ban, President Donald Trump said the American people "want extreme vetting" for immigrants and refugees entering the country.

But Congressman Stephen Lynch says he's observed that vetting process firsthand — and it's already extreme.

Last January, Lynch visited refugee camps near the Syrian border with Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon to oversee refugee processing. Lynch said he and Rep. Steve Russell, a Republican from Oklahoma, submitted themselves to the process, including interviews and the collection of biometric data through retina scans. They also sat in on the questioning of refugee families as they went through the interview process.

"I came away thinking: On a scale from 1 to 10, this is about a 9," Lynch said.

Lynch said that, to tighten the process further, a certification from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence could be required as a final check that every agency involved in the process had adequately completed its job. Trump, instead, suspended the Syrian refugee program indefinitely.

 "[Trump] could have guaranteed ... to tighten up what's there now," Lynch said.

"I really don't think there's an active present risk or present danger from sneaking through that vetting process," he continued. "We had a very good one."

To hear more from Congressman Stephen Lynch, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.

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