Immigration attorney: visa process works well, refugee screening - WNEM TV 5

Immigration attorney: visa process works well, refugee screening flawed

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Mike Wooley is an immigration attorney. He said the visa process is very complicated.

"There's probably a visa for every letter in the alphabet. And they all different types of things," Wooley said.

He went over the steps of how to obtain a K-1 or fiancé visa. Accused San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook was an American citizen who brought his wife, Tashfeen Malik, to the United States in 2014.

To obtain a K-1 visa, while abroad, the person fills out multipage form which requires submitting their name, address, date of birth, criminal history among other things.

The data is vetted by an U.S. Immigration Center. That can take 5-7 months. If approved the person must marry in 90 days or get deported.

"Sometimes people can be detained abroad during the visa process for several months until certain inaccuracies or perhaps similarities to some bad person in their biographic information can be looked at. So in general I think the process works pretty well," Wooley said.

Wooley said for the most part the visa process is a good one.

However, he said the refugee screening process is flawed.

That's because many of those people wanting to come to this country don't have any paperwork with them."

"Garbage in, garbage out," Wooley said.

Wooley said in many cases there's no way to know if refugees without documentation are truthful when filling out paperwork.

Wooley said he doesn't know how to fix that loophole but that it’s up to the federal government to solve that riddle.

"It depends on the level of security one would want for its own citizens," Wooley said.

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