The refugee vetting process includes many steps.
Initial screening: Refugees report to the UN High Committee for Refugees (UNHCR), which collects biographical data and interviews them – and then selects less than 1 percent of all refugees for possible resettlement.
Secondary screening: A U.S. Resettlement Support Center compiles biographical data on resettlement candidates.
Biographic security checks: The National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department perform security checks; those with connections to terror groups or serious criminal records are disqualified.
The interview: U.S. Customs and Immigration Services interviews candidates for resettlement.
Biometric security checks: Refugee fingerprints are checked against terror watch lists.
Medical checks: Those with serious communicable diseases are disqualified entering the U.S.
Cultural orientation: Classes teach refugees to adapt to American life.
Assignment to a U.S. city: Volunteer agencies (or “Volags”) such as Catholic Charities and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants decide where each refugee will settle, taking into account family connections, space availability and other issues.
Travel: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with the Transportation Security Administration, screen refugees against do-not-fly lists before allowing them to come to the U.S.
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.