U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson released a video Tuesday afternoon explaining the process for admitting Syrian refugees into the United States. In an email released by the White House, Johnson argued that, “taking in refugees at times of crisis is simply the right thing to do. It's who we are as a nation.”
“I understand the anxiety that many Americans are feeling right now. And as Secretary of Homeland Security, I share with President Obama the top priority of keeping the American people safe. So let me be clear about what this process of vetting and resettling refugees looks like,” Johnson wrote in the email.
The U.S. has recently been immersed in a debate over President Barack Obama’s plans to resettle 10,000 more Syrian refugees in the U.S. in 2016 after it was announced that authorities believed one of the suspects in the Paris attacks was a member of the Islamic State group -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- who reportedly entered France amid the current wave of Syrian refugees. In response, a large number of governors have demanded the Obama administration suspend its plans.
“It's important to remember, we're focused on admitting the most vulnerable Syrians -- this means mostly women, children and families,” Johnson wrote in the email. “Second, anyone who applies for and is approved for refugee status in the United States, including Syrians, must first go through a rigorous security screening process."