Nearly 700 potential terrorists have used an immigration loophole to enter the US without proper vetting procedures, gaining temporary status and the right to remain in the country indefinitely, says a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.
Distinct from the normal procedures followed by immigrants and refugees, the 698 individuals mentioned in the report claimed they had ‘credible fear’ of being persecuted if they were deported to their native countries.
This loophole fast-tracks their application status and bypasses standard vetting rules that disqualify those with suspected terror ties.
"Unlike refugees, who are screened before coming to the United States and can be denied refugee status before they enter this country, aliens who enter illegally and claim a "credible fear" of persecution have not been screened before physically entering the United States," the report explains.
"Information disclosed to Congress indicates that 299 aliens to whom the terrorism bar to asylum eligibility may apply were found to have a credible fear in the first four months of FY 2015, and that 399 aliens to whom the terrorism bar to asylum eligibility may apply were found to have a credible fear in FY 2014."
The report also states that many of the immigrants and refugees who use the ‘credible fear’ loophole come from countries that either sponsor terrorism or harbor terror training camps; making proper vetting procedures all but impossible.