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Shortcuts taken to screen refugees

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Last year, during the election campaign, we heard frequent assurances that refugees allowed to enter the United States were subjected to such an extreme process of vetting that we had nothing to fear from allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees to come in. Now it turns out that those assurances were spoken in either ignorance or deceit.

The Government Accountability Office, in a study released a few weeks ago, contained findings that should concern all Americans. The GAO found that vetting procedures are not always followed, that bribery has been used to buy refugee approval and that the State Department has not taken steps to be sure that its vetting procedures are effective.

Fortunately, shortly before the GAO report came out, the president had already issued an executive order calling for a review and strengthening of the refugee vetting procedures. The GAO’s findings add to the urgency of this assignment. We expect our government to fulfill its fundamental obligation to protect us.

Peter J. Thomas

Warrenton, Va.

The writer is chairman of The Conservative Caucus, a public policy and lobbying organization.

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