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Understanding the refugee vetting process

Initial screening: Refugees report to the UN High Committee for Refugees (UNHCR), which collects biographical data and interviews them – and then selects fewer than 1 percent of all refugees for possible resettlement.

Secondary screening: A U.S. State Department Resettlement Support Center compiles biographical data and conducts an initial interview.

Biographic security checks: The National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department and the State Department screen the applicants; those with connections to terror groups or serious criminal records are disqualified.

Checks Trump added: To make the vetting even tougher, Trump called on U.S. officials to check applicants' places of employment and names of family members as well as their social media.

The final interview: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews candidates for resettlement at least once, and often several times.

Biometric security checks: Refugee fingerprints are checked against terror watch lists.

Medical checks: Those with serious communicable diseases are disqualified.

Cultural orientation: Classes teach refugees to adapt to American life.

Assignment to a U.S. city: Volunteer agencies (or "Volags") such as Catholic Charities decide where each refugee will settle, taking into account family connections and space availability.

Travel: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with the Transportation Security Administration, screens refugees against do-not-fly lists.

Resettlement: Refugees travel to America and get settled into their new community by a resettlement agency such as the International Institute of Buffalo or Journeys End Refugee Services.

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