Five Syrian refugees arrested in Honduras with doctored passports, attempting to get to U.S.
HONDURAS -Authorities in Honduras say they have captured five Syrians who were trying to get to the United States using stolen and doctored passports.
While many people feared the men’s journey was sinister in nature, Honduran authorities stressed that they believe the men had no link to terrorism and were simply seeking an asylum.
“We received information from (fellow) police services that these five Syrians left Greece and passed through Turkey, Brazil, Argentina and San Jose in Costa Rica before finally reaching Tegucigalpa,” said Anibal Baca, a spokesperson for the Honduras’ police. “They are normal Syrians.”
It can be a difficult process to get into the United States as a refugee.
If they receive refugee status, the applicant then is referred by the commission for resettlement in a country, like the United States.
After the UNHCR refers a refugee applicant to the U.S., the application is processed by the Resettlement Support Center, which gathers information for an intensive screening process. That process includes an interview, a medical evaluation and an interagency security screening process aimed at ensuring the refugee does not pose a threat to the country.
The average processing time for refugee applications is 18 to 24 months, but Syrian applications can take much longer because of security concerns.
Recently, many governors and republican leaders across the country have said they will reject any refugees the government allows into the U.S.
“The bottom line is they cannot. One: because the federal government has exclusive authority to regulate immigration and the 14th amendment prohibits discrimination on basis of national origin,” Professor Joseph Thai, a constitutional scholar at the University of Oklahoma, said.
He said, when it comes to federal immigration policy, governors don’t play a role.
“You can’t say people of color cannot settle in a state or Asians or African-Americans or people from a certain country cannot settle in a state and that certainly applies to people from Syria,” Thai said.
The federal government approved the entry of 10,000 Syrian refugees last year.