EDITION : English/Korean


Application Process For Resettlement In The U.S. Could Take Up To 2 Years Due To Strict Rules And Security Concerns, Discouraging Several Refugees

by Czarelli Tuason / Oct 21, 2015 11:48 PM EDT
(Photo by Spencer Pratt/Getty Images News)

More and more refugees are feeling hopeless and discouraged with the slow process of the U.S. for resettlement application attributed to security issues and tight policies. Even some tens of thousands of Americans are already signing petitions urging President Barack Obama to speed up the process and take in more refugees as possible.

"I think as a nation we really have to look at the largest conflict and largest refugee issue since World War II," said Rebecca Kehe, who has witnessed a crowd of refugees at the Budapest train station during her trip to Hungary. "And see it for what it is, then move forward with policy."

Aljazeera America noted Oct 4 that 1,700 refugees from Syria have already been resettled in the U.S., which the State Department expects to rise to 100,000 yearly by 2017, including the 10,000 Syrians that are st to be resettled by next year.

"So for the United States, with the largest economy, the larger landmass than Europe, accepts only 10,000 - that's really unacceptable," said executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' St. Louis chapter Faizan Syed.

The people who are applying for a U.S. refugee status and resettlement outside of America are instructed to stay in the countries from which they have filed their applications as they undergo several interviews with the U.S. federal agencies. The strict rules of applications, along with security concerns are pinned as the main reasons for the application process to take up to two years.

The Voice of America also noted on Sept. 11 that refugees under consideration for resettlement are given a three-day "cultural orientation" to educate them about the U.S. and the resettlement process. The country then coordinates with nine domestic agencies to facilitate the resettlement of the refugees in the U.S.

According to a former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Doris Meissner, the U.S. is not very well acclimated to attending to a big refugee crisis. The last time the country had to respond to such issue was back in the early 1990s when refugees from Haiti and Cuba started arriving in boats, reported the U.S. News on Sept. 7.

"In order for us to be able to make a really robust, large-numbers response, it would take some - not changes in those procedures - but timeliness in those procedures that we haven't put into place," said Meissner.

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