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    Extreme Vetting? A Terrifying Thought

    Extreme vetting. It has become a euphemism, but what does it really mean? From all of the hype, it sounds as if it steps clearly beyond the bounds of our Constitution. How many trips across these Constitutional boundaries do we allow Trump to go?

    Trump and his surrogates keep going on and on about 'extreme vetting.' I must say that the images that come to mind are frightening, illegal, and I would hope un-American. It is a phrase meant to inspire fear. particularly given the tone in which it is almost always said. The video below is from prior to the election and credited to USA Today:

    What we have heard from some of those detained when Trump's surprise ban went into effect, is that they were interrogated (sometimes for hours) and among the questions was how they felt about President Trump. Luckily, there is a stay on that ban at this moment, but the lives of tens of thousands of people hang in the balance. The truth is that the United States already had a relatively 'extreme vetting' in place. The visa process for many has gone on for years. Even those who served with the US military in Iraq, and who are subsequently targets in their own country, have been restricted and delayed repeatedly (this is shameful in my opinion). Here is the immigration process for REFUGEE entry PRIOR to Trump's extreme additions (at least part of which seems to be an ideology and loyalty test, and gives a Christian preference):


    refugee screening process


    On top of the above, SYRIAN refugees went through ADDITIONAL processing (which can take two years or more):

    1. Registration with the United Nations.

    2. Interview with the United Nations.

    3. Refugee status granted by the United Nations.

    4. Referral for resettlement in the United States. The United Nations decides if the person fits the definition of a refugee and whether to refer the person to the United States or to another country for resettlement. Only the most vulnerable are referred, accounting for less than than 1 percent of refugees worldwide. Some people spend years waiting in refugee camps.

    5. Interview with State Department contractors.

    6. First background check.

    7. Higher-level background check for some.

    8. Another background check. The refugee’s name is run through law enforcement and intelligence databases for terrorist or criminal history. Some go through a higher-level clearance before they can continue. A third background check was introduced in 2008 for Iraqis but has since been expanded to all refugees ages 14 to 65.

    9. First fingerprint screening; photo taken.

    10. Second fingerprint screening.

    11. Third fingerprint screening. The refugee’s fingerprints are screened against F.B.I. and Homeland Security databases, which contain watch list information and past immigration encounters, including if the refugee previously applied for a visa at a United States embassy. Fingerprints are also checked against those collected by the Defense Department during operations in Iraq.

    12. Case reviewed at United States immigration headquarters.

    13. Some cases referred for additional review. Syrian applicants must undergo these two additional steps. Each is reviewed by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services refugee specialist. Cases with “national security indicators” are given to the Homeland Security Department’s fraud detection unit.

    14. Extensive, in-person interview with Homeland Security officer. Most of the interviews with Syrians have been done in Jordan and Turkey.

    15. Homeland Security approval is required.

    16. Screening for contagious diseases.

    17. Cultural orientation class.

    18. Matched with an American resettlement agency.

    19. Multi-agency security check before leaving for the United States. Because of the long amount of time between the initial screening and departure, officials conduct a final check before the refugee leaves for the United States.

    20. Final security check at an American airport. Sources: State Department; Department of Homeland Security; Center for American Progress; U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; Refugee Council USA , and NY Times


    So what might Trump add: I am afraid that the vision that comes to my mind is similar to Dave Granlund's below:

    extreme vetting
    Cartoon by Dave Granlund. Republished here with license approval.Caption


    Image icon Thought Police100.13 KB
    Image icon White House Graphic687.03 KB
    Image icon Dave Granlund - by license agreement463.65 KB



    I hereby render unto Libre Wolf the Dayly Blog of the Week Award for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of Libre Wolf from all of me.


    Thank you Sir Day! I am humbled by your praise.

    Excellent! I've read about some of the steps refugees must go through but never took the time to find the complete list of the steps required. Thanks for this. I think Granlund is over thinking Trump's plan. There will be none of this Are you a terrorist or Member of ISIS. Are you Muslim is the sole addition vetting that Trump wants.

    I heard one of those who had been "detained" at one of the air ports (I believe JFK or NY) report that one of the questions they had been asked was how they felt about President Trump. I was watching MSNBC coverage at that point I think.

    I posted a short piece ... Martial Law may be in the table ... and in an article attached there, the author states during the early Bu$h Admin in 2001 after 9/11, Bu$h and his entourage were busy codifying their positions to make sure they had a free hand to do as they please without the worry of congressional or judiciary oversight. And as we've heard from Mr Trump and his entourage, they believe they have the constitutional right do as they please and not worry Congress or the courts will stop them as long as they phrase everything as terrorism and protecting the home land.

    We're seeing the courts waking up to the fact, the Executive is working in unknown territory without any congressional or judicial oversight and review and claims they have the right to do so and no one has the authority the stop them.

    So can you tell me who has the constitutional authority for vetting? Where is it written.? Which Article ? How is oversight conducted ? What are the checks and balances to ensure the laws are being followed ?

    For some strange reason, I don't think you can give me a reference that isolates a specific government function ... Legislative, Executive or Judicial ... that is designated as the primary point of contact where the buck stops.

    In fact, I suspect you'll find it resides with the Executive via executive order that's gone unchallenged by Congress and the courts until now.

    Hi Beetlejuice. I believe that you can find most of  your answers here (, but let me extract the pertinent parts:

    "The United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is an interagency effort involving a number of governmental and non-governmental partners both overseas and in the U.S. designed "to offer resettlement opportunities to persons overseas who are of special humanitarian concern, while protecting national security and combating fraud".[1] The program specifically targets those who have fled their country because of past or future persecution. According to a State Department report, "Program objectives include arranging for refugees' placement by ensuring that approved refugees are sponsored and offered appropriate assistance upon arrival in the U.S., providing refugees with basic necessities and core services during their initial resettlement period, and promoting refugee self-sufficiency through employment as soon as possible after arrival in the U.S. in coordination with other refugee service and assistance programs."[2]"

    " The United States Refugee Admissions Program originated from the Refugee Act of 1980 "

    " At times the nature of refugee admissions has changed according to a shift in political climate. One such example is the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which was signed by George Bush and authorized more funding for national defense. "

    " The chief agency USRAP works with at the federal level is the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration, or the PRM.[2] The PRM is in charge of managing foreign USRAP programs, proposing ceilings on refugee admissions, and establishing priorities when processing refugee cases.[6] Along with the PRM, USRAP works closely with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).[2] The HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), coordinates health benefits for refugees upon resettlement. The DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews applications to determine refugee status, along with reviewing refugee cases. DHS’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) "screens arriving refugees for admission at the port of entry".[6] "

    While NOT directly tied to US agencies, the UNHCR is also intimately involved in refugee issues and this carries over to the US as well as other countries.

    Whoops. Forgot to include this

    An Overview of the Leahy Vetting Process

    "U.S. Department of State



    Consistent with U.S. law and policy, the Department of State vets its assistance to foreign security forces, as well as certain Department of Defense training programs, to ensure that recipients have not committed gross human rights abuses. When the vetting process uncovers credible information that an individual or unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, U.S. assistance is withheld.

    The obligation to vet Department of State (DoS) assistance and Department of Defense (DoD)-funded training programs for foreign security forces units is in section 620M (a.k.a., the Leahy amendment) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended, and a comparable provision in the annual DoD Appropriations Act. While the DoS legislation applies to all “assistance” under the FAA and the Arms Export Control Act, the DoD law is specific to “training programs” funded under Defense Department Appropriations Acts.

    Security forces units subject to Leahy vetting generally include foreign militaries, reserves, police, homeland security forces such as border guards or customs police, prison guards, and other units or individual members of units authorized to use force."

    and so on

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