clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Still think it's easy for refugees to get to the US? Samantha Bee has a simple explainer.

As Syria's civil war rages on, the refugee crisis it spawned has turned into a big political controversy around the world — with several Republican candidates characterizing the refugees as dangerous and even calling for a total ban on Muslim refugees.

But are these refugees really so dangerous? Full Frontal host Samantha Bee went to Jordan, where about a million of the refugees are, to find out. And it turns out these are normal people in a horrible crisis just trying to get by.

Bee noted a few things in her segment, which you can watch in full above:

  • The refugee vetting process is extensive, taking about 18 to 24 months and using a database that's shared with the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Department of Defense.
  • To get through the process, someone would need to get through the United Nations, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies — and refugees don't even get to choose the country where they ultimately end up. (Around 4:35 in the video above, Bee explains this through a short video game.)
  • Republicans have repeatedly said on the campaign trail that many of the refugees are young, single men who would be able to carry out terrorist attacks. But only about 2 percent of people in the refugee system are single men.

So there are a lot of misconceptions, which many politicians use to scare the hell out of people.

But Bee also captures the humanity of many of these refugees. Many of them tell her that they just want to find a place to settle down. "We're like any other person," one refugee said. "We wear clothes, eat, drink, and our kids go to school."

Watch: Syria's civil war, explained