As many of you already know, Doreen and I have had decades of experience working with refugees, including people from Iraq and Syria. People in the US and elsewhere are understandably more concerned with security after the ISIS attacks last week. In our balancing concern for security with our concern for compassion, there are at least two things you need to know, particularly in regards to refugees.
First, a terrorist from another country who wanted to do harm to the US would
most likely enter our country with a tourist or student visa. This is
the route that the 9/11 terrorists used. To get one, you just visit a US
embassy for a ten minute interview. The visa takes about two weeks and
is good for multiple entries for six years. If the terrorist is a
national citizen, from, say, France or Belgium, or any other western
European nation, the terrorist would not need a visa, but only a
passport, much like it takes US citizens to visit Europe.
if a terrorist wanted to enter the US as a refugee, the daunting task
of getting all the clearances would take about two years. Here are two
sites that describe the current process, the second site goes into more
(The second site:) https://www.americanprogress.org/…/infographic-the-screen…/…
When our government leaders target refugees as threats to our
security, they are missing the point of protecting our safety, and they
are attacking some of the most vulnerable people in the world. As
followers of Jesus, we can call for compassion and justice without
sacrificing any security on this issue. We have already sponsored
refugees from Iraq and Syria. I hope we can do it again, and I would
welcome them into our home.