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Humanitarian Groups Say Refugee Vetting Process Is Strict

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, President Trump strongly criticized the judge who temporarily blocked this travel ban. On Twitter, the president wrote that, quote, "anyone, even with bad intentions, will now be able to enter the United States." He warned that if, quote, "certain people are allowed in, it's death and destruction."

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Matthew Soerens is among those who sees a different picture. He leads refugee resettlement efforts in the U.S. for a group called World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals.

GREENE: And Soerens wants to set the record straight on a key piece of the refugee resettlement program - the vetting process.

MATTHEW SOERENS: The best evidence that that process is working is we've had about 3 million refugees who've been admitted and welcomed to the United States since 1980. Since that time, we've had a grand total of zero deaths of American citizens as a result of terrorist attacks perpetrated by someone who came through that refugee resettlement program.

MARTIN: Soerens says that's the message his organization, along with many other evangelical leaders, will be sending in a letter to the White House this week.

SOERENS: We've got hundreds of pastors signed on, including some of the biggest pastors in the country. We have pastors from every one of the 50 states basically urging the president and the vice president to reconsider.

GREENE: Reconsider not just the travel moratorium, Soerens says, but also the overall reduction in refugees allowed entry. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.