U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says despite challenges, the Justice Department will make every effort to vet every refugee coming into the country. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Tuesday (November 17) the United States would work with France to hunt down those responsible for the attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, while continuing to admit refugees from all countries who have passed a "significant and robust screening process." "We are committed to doing everything within our power to assist our French law enforcement colleagues in bringing those responsible for this monstrous act of terror to justice," Lynch said in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on oversight of the Department of Justice. Lynch faced questions from the chair of the committee, Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, over the Obama administration's plan to accept thousands more immigrants from war-torn Syria. "In the case of Syria, you can't go to the government offices in that country. They are in disarray. You can't go interview people who know people who are applying for this status," Goodlatte said. "Not only the Department of Justice but all of our agencies will make every effort to vet every refugee coming into this country - from the databases to the interviews that those individuals are subject to to the biometric screening as well," Lynch replied. "Certainly there are challenges to that process because of the situation in Syria, but I would note, however, that we do have the benefit of having that significant and robust screening process in place, a process that Europe has not been able to set up, which renders them much more vulnerable," she added. A Syrian passport found near the body of one of the attackers on Friday showed that its holder passed through Greece in October, raising concern that the attackers had entered Europe amid the wave of refugees fleeing that country's four-year civil war. The United States admitted 1,682 Syrian refugees in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, a sharp jump from the 105 admitted a year earlier, while Europe is struggling with an influx of hundreds of thousands. Texas, California and Michigan accepted the largest number of people fleeing the war. Secretary of State John Kerry in September said the United States would increase the number of refugees it takes in from all nations by 15,000 per year over the next two years, bringing the total to 100,000 a year by 2017.