Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers Monday night, where she talked about the Republican presidential race, the Syrian refugee crisis and some comedian named Louis C.K.
The former governor of Alaska aligned herself with the 31 sitting governors who have said they would try to block the federal government’s plans to resettle Syrian refugees in their states (despite ot having the authority to do so).
“Their message is not, ‘We don’t want Syrian refugees.’ Their message is, ‘What is the vetting process? How do we know that these are the innocents who are coming over and actually needing aid and they’re not the bad guys infiltrating under the guise of “refugee,”‘” Palin said.
“And they want a vetting process because we don’t have that at the top — we don’t have that at the federal level,” she added.
“Well, we do though,” Meyers corrected. “In order for any refugees to come in it is like a 18- to 24-month process to get through. It starts at the UN and then it comes through multiple government agencies here in the States.”
The State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are all involved in the refugee-screening process — a process deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner recently characterized as the “most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States.”
Since 2011, the UN High Commission on Refugees has referred 23,092 Syrian refugees to the United States — a tiny fraction of the more than four million Syrians who have been displaced by the fighting. The federal government has screened 7,014 of those referrals, and accepted just 2,034.
In that same time, more than a quarter of a million Syrians have died in attacks by their own government, by rebel groups fighting their government, by ISIS (which now controls the vast majority of that country’s oil and gas fields), by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and now by Russian airstrikes.
In his interview with Palin Monday, Meyers went on to say, “I think we can both agree that freedom is one of this country’s great resources…. I really do think that’s why these people are so desperate to come here…. This idea that they’re coming here to infiltrate, I think that is fear-based.”