What is a refugee?
Under international law, a refugee is an individual who is “unable to return to his or her home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group.” As the U.S. Department of State notes, “refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States.
The Cultural Orientation Resource Center has produced numerous publications providing key information about various refugee populations. These Refugee Backgrounders and Culture Profiles include a population’s history, culture, religion, language, education, and resettlement needs, and brief demographic information.
Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any entrant to the United States. Once a refugee is selected for resettlement, they must then undergo an extensive vetting process that takes two years on average and includes multiple interviews, background checks, medical screening, and cultural orientation. This process takes place for the refugee is even allowed to enter the United States.