The White House turned to Vice President Joe Biden to sooth fears over terrorist attacks. At the same time Biden took a veiled shot at conservatives who are sowing fears that Syrian refugees are entering the country without being scrutinized and could be terrorists.
Speaking for President Obama in the weekly White House address, Biden said, “We’ve heard an awful lot of people suggest that the best way to keep America safe is to prevent any Syrian refugee from gaining asylum in the United States.’
The vice president then said he was going to “set the record straight.”
“Refugees face the most rigorous screening of anyone who comes to the United States. First they are finger printed, then they undergo a thorough background check, then they are interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security., ” he explained. “And after that the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Defense and the Department of State, they all have to sign off on access.”
Biden went on and said that another layer of security checks have been instituted.
“Right now, refugees wait 18 to 24 months while the screening process is completed. And unlike in Europe, refugees don’t set foot in the United States until they are thoroughly vetted, ” he explained before adding, “Let’s also remember who the vast majority of these refugees are: women, children, orphans, survivors of torture, people desperately in need medical help.”
The vice president said that those who seek to block refugees escaping persecution in the Middle East are doing exactly what the terrorists want.
They want us to turn our backs on Muslims victimized by terrorism. But this gang of thugs peddling a warped ideology, they will never prevail. The world is united in our resolve to end their evil. And the only thing ISIL can do is spread terror in hopes that we will in turn, turn on ourselves. We will betray our ideals and take actions, actions motivated by fear that will drive more recruits into the arms of ISIL. That’s how they win”
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