ABSTRACT

Refugees: Actions Needed by State Department and DHS to Further Strengthen Applicant Screening Process and Assess Fraud Risks, Report to Congressional Addressees   [open pdf - 4MB]

"Increases in the number of USRAP [U.S. Refugee Admission Program] applicants approved for resettlement in the United States from countries where terrorists operate have raised questions about the adequacy of applicant screening. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review the refugee screening process. This report (1) describes what State and DHS data indicate about the characteristics and outcomes of USRAP applications, (2) analyzes the extent to which State and RSCs [Resettlement Support Center] have policies and procedures on refugee case processing and State oversees RSC activities, (3) analyzes the extent to which USCIS [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services] has policies and procedures for adjudicating refugee applications, and (4) analyzes the extent to which State and USCIS have mechanisms in place to detect and prevent applicant fraud. GAO reviewed State and DHS policies, analyzed refugee processing data and reports, observed a nongeneralizable sample of refugee screening interviews in four countries in 2016 (selected based on application data and other factors), and interviewed State and DHS officials and RSC staff. GAO recommends that State (1) develop outcome-based indicators to measure RSC performance and (2) monitor against these measures; USCIS (1) enhance training to temporary officers, (2) develop a plan to deploy additional officers with national security expertise, and (3) conduct regular quality assurance assessments; and State and DHS jointly conduct regular fraud risk assessments. State and DHS concurred with GAO's recommendations."

Report Number:
GAO-17-706
Publisher:
Date:
2017-07
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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