Catholic Charities Speak Out About Refugee Screening Process

Tuesday, November 17th 2015, 5:18 pm
By: Karl Torp

The acceptance for Syrian refugees into the U.S. and potentially Oklahoma has turned into a hot button, political topic.

Gov. Mary Fallin has joined other governors urging the President to suspend accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S.

Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City said it helps 150 to 190 refugees annually.

“We help them learn English, help them with employment and help their kids enroll in school,” Catholic Charities Archdiocese of OKC Executive Director Patrick Raglow said.

Following the Paris attacks, Raglow said he understands the fears in the refugee screening process.

He said the U.S. government conducts a thorough background check on any refugee entering America.

The State Department, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security all conduct their own checks and screenings before a refugee steps on a plane for the U.S.

“There are a lot easier ways to get into this country then coming in as a refugee,” said Raglow, who adds that the process can take months.

He said the current system isn't perfect, but he claims it’s working and provides refugees a chance at the American Dream.

There are three refugees from Syrian living in the Tulsa area. They’ve been in Oklahoma since 2012.