Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Some necessary information about the refugee process

By Thomas V. Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 19, 2015

I hate to say it, but sometimes there's nothing like a big pile of facts to make a philosophical argument unnecessary. Claims and counter-claims, either side seizing moral high ground, security vs. compassion, all of it becomes quite irrelevant in the face of the Cato Institute's analysis, which proves its title ("Syrian Refugees Don’t Pose a Serious Security Threat") beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If you want some actual useful information - not just claims and assertions - about how the vetting process for refugees works (as opposed to for asylum seekers, migrants or visitors), the major differences between how this is done in the US vs. Europe, and more, read it.

In 2015, the United States has accepted only 1682 Syrian refugees, or 0.042 percent of the 4,045,650 registered Syrian refugees. Only one out of every 2,405 Syrian refugees in a camp was resettled in the United States in 2015.

Few ISIS soldiers or other terrorists are going to spend at least three years in a refugee camp for a 0.042 percent chance of entering the United States when almost any other option to do so is easier, cheaper, quicker.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: space15796 - Dec. 26, 2015 2:57 AM ET USA

    "Waiting" does not equal "vetting". There is no infrastructure or public records to rely on for vetting purposes in Syria and many other countries of origin. It is extremely easy to forge birth certificates, to further confuse this process. As the FBI has said, we can fingerprint all we want, if there are no fingerprints to compare the prints to, it is useless.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 23, 2015 3:48 PM ET USA

    You are basing your claim on 1682 refugees, almost all of whom were accepted prior to the massive migration from Syria in the past few months. ISIS has publicly stated that their agents are among the refugees. These are also facts, and I don't see any mention of them in your summary.

  • Posted by: space15796 - Nov. 21, 2015 12:42 AM ET USA

    What are we to make of the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee saying that there is indeed cause for concern? McCaul on Sunday said that he had spoken with officials at the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, who “they tell me this cannot be properly done.” Is he lying? Are these claims and assertions that we should ignore? What if you're wrong? How are we to get down to the truth, when we have lives filled with responsibilities to family and others and no time for research?

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Nov. 20, 2015 9:42 PM ET USA

    Of course if we accepted a very large number of Syrian refugees that chance of accepting a terrorist would rapidly increase from 0.042%.