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IRAP Submits Recommendations to Improve Refugee Security Vetting

Today, IRAP, along with 18 other organizations*, submitted a letter to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security with recommendations to improve the refugee security vetting system. Despite that refugees have long been the most vetted category of people arriving in the United States, the Trump administration implemented a new system of “extreme vetting” that unnecessarily and unfairly prolonged refugees’ paths to safety and family reunification. As outlined in a report published by IRAP last fall, these vetting procedures ultimately ground the refugee program to a halt.

On February 4, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that revoked several presidential actions taken by President Trump, including the discriminatory “Muslim ban” and an executive order implementing “extreme vetting”.  Section 2(c) of President Biden’s executive order requires the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to provide a report to the President disclosing all actions taken by the Trump Administration that implemented or relied on the now-revoked extreme vetting procedures, and offer recommendations on whether each action should be “maintained, reversed, or modified”.

In order to assist the Secretaries in that report, the letter IRAP sent today recommends reversing five changes to refugee vetting taken by the Trump Administration. By rescinding these policies, the Biden Administration can begin to improve refugee security vetting by making it more efficient, meaningful, and fair.

Read the letter here.

*The following organizations joined IRAP on the letter:

African Communities Together
Bridges Faith Initiative
The Center for Victims of Torture
Church World Service
Human Rights First
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
Immigration Hub
International Rescue Committee
Louisiana Aid to Immigrants in Detention
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
National Immigration Law Center
National Organization for Women
Refugee Congress
Restore the Fourth
Veterans for American Ideals
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center