07:43 GMT12 July 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL
    0 42

    UNHCR senior US resettlement officer Larry Yungk claims that syrians fleeing their war-torn country are more likely to get to the United States through the visa lottery than the rigorous refugee processing program.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Syrians fleeing their war-torn country are more likely to get to the United States through the visa lottery than the rigorous refugee processing program, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) senior US resettlement officer Larry Yungk told Sputnik.

    “There are more Syrians who won the visa lottery than came through the refugee program [to the United States],” Yungk said on Monday.

    Since 2011, approximately 1,900 Syrian refugees were resettled in the United States, while a total of 30,000 Syrians made it to the country in other ways, Yungk explained.

    “It is not the easy way to get to the United States,” he said of the refugee program.

    In September, President Barack Obama announced the United States would accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.

    Following the announcement, members of the Republican-led Congress raised security concerns, alleging that members of the Islamic State terrorist group were attempting to blend in with the millions of Syrians seeking asylum abroad.

    Yungk explained the US security procedures for processing refugees are very stringent.

    “No other category of person has a one-on-one interview with [the Department of Homeland Security] outside the United States, only refugees,” Yungk said, adding that the interviews can last “four to six hours.”

    The US State Department estimates it can take between 18 to 24 months for the United States to vet a refugee and bring him or her to the country.

    The State Department Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration acknowledges there are as many as 250,000 refugees from across the globe being processed through the US system at any given time.


    US Refugee Resettlement Lags Years Behind Middle East Interventions - DoS
    Low US Acceptance of Syrian Refugees - a Failure of Country's Leadership
    refugees, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), United Nations, Larry Yungk, Syria, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion