Some terrorists, including two al Qaeda affiliates who were living in Kentucky at the time of their indictment, have been able to enter the U.S. legally through a resettlement program for “vulnerable” refugees.
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a joint venture between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the State Department. Together, the two agencies are responsible for determining which refugees are granted USRAP resettlement consideration. This is done by way of face-to-face interviews with the applicants. The majority of refugee referrals received are from the United Nations. In order to qualify for the program a refugee must:
- Have a substantiated fear of persecution based on religion, political viewpoint, race or nationality
- Have a continued need for protection
If an applicant meets all criteria, the U.N. has advised that the refugee should be granted permanent residence status and given rights akin to those provided to nationals.
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