Syrian refugees “are less of a threat to thecountry,” a Department of State official told a congressionalsubcommittee Thursday, but then admittedtheyÂ aren’tÂ tracked after threemonths.
Rep. Lamar Smith asked State Department Assistant Secretary ofthe BureauÂ of Population, Refugees and Migration AnneC. Richard if Syrian refugees are a threat to the UnitedStates’ safety.
“Syrians are less of a threat to the country,” thanother refugees, Richard told the House Judiciary Subcommittee onImmigration and Border Security, chaired by South CarolinaRepublican Trey Gowdy . “I’m very worried aboutterrorists. I think we should prevent terrorists coming from theUnited States.Â I think the odds of a refugee being aterrorist is very very small.”
But the Texas Republican disputedÂ her claim.
“You don’t have the data to make thatdetermination,” Smith said.
He reminded Richard thatÂ FBI Director James Comeytold Congress Oct. 21 there isn’tÂ enough data toproperly screen Syrian refugees.
â€œIf someone has never madeaÂ ripple in the pond in SyriaÂ in away that would get their identity or their interest reflected inour database, we can query our database until the cows come home,but there will be nothing showing up because we have no record ofthem,â€ Comey told the House Committee on HomelandSecurity on Oct. 21.
Richard said the refugee vetting process uses databases that arenot used by the FBI.
“We’re happy to … go into the point that theFBI holding could only tell you a limited amount ofinformation,” sheÂ said. “That’s whywe have to use many more databases, many more techniques to get thewhole story.”
Refugees are also subject toÂ a series ofinterviews.
Even with that series of interviews, the vetting process is far from flawless, TheDaily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
But, Richard admitted refugees aren’t tracked afterthey’ve been in the U.S. forÂ three months.
Refugees “are pretty much treated like ordinary Americansand they are not tracked,” she said. “As far as I know,none of the refugees have been arrested.”
Federal officials rely on local law enforcement to report whenrefugees are arrested.
At least one Syrian refugee went missing and was laterfound in Washington, D.C., TheDCNF reported Tuesday.