WICHITA, Kansas – It’s been five days since the terrorist attacks in Paris. Since then, governors from more than half of the states have said ‘our nation needs to focus on security’, and opted not to accept Syrian refugees.
However, U.S. refugees undergo multiple layers of security checks, making them the most vetted group of people who come to our nation.
“These refugees are actually running away from the very people who committed these attacks in Paris,” said Sandrine Lisk, Managing Attorney Immigration Law Office in Wichita.
A rigorous and complex process makes up bringing refugees here to the United States.
“The United States itself has a very robust background screening that they do for refugees. State Department does background screenings, Department of Justice, and various intelligent agencies do as well,” explained Jennifer Doran, the Executive Director of International Rescue Committee in Wichita.
It’s a less than speedy process that can last anywhere from twelve months to seven years.
According to International law, a refugee is classified as someone who is outside of their country of origin, who has a well-founded fear of persecution based on five different grounds: nationality, religion, ethnic background, social or political views.
“Refugees are fleeing from the very violence and persecution that we saw unfold in Paris last week. They’ve been dealing with this kind of terror for the last five years,” stated Doran.
Tuesday afternoon, President Obama held a conference call with those governors, including Sam Brownback, who have expressed concern about refugees.
“The international rescue committee is saddened by that stance. We stand by Syrian refugees and the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program,” Doran said.
While Brownback, and other elected officials, such as Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau, expressed their stance on the nation’s security against future terrorist attacks. Some local groups are arguing to bring Syrian refugees to the states.
“If we were to be smart about this, it would be to welcome those who are fleeing ISIS who don’t want to be a part of ISIS, who don’t want to join ISIS, and can make sure that they can find safe haven elsewhere,” Lisk said.
According to one of KSN’S sources, there are Syrian refugees already living in here Wichita, and there are more on the way.