Seth Meyers explains Syrian refugee vetting process to Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin supports governors who are refusing to accept Syrian refugees because she says there’s not a vetting process to determine if they are “bad guys infiltrating under the guise of refugee.”

Except there is, Seth Meyers explained to the former Alaska governor during her appearance on NBC’s “Late Night” Tuesday.

“In order for any refugees to come in, it is like an 18- to 24-month process for them to get through,” Meyers said. “It starts at the U.N., and then it comes through multiple government agencies here in the States. Is it maybe just that, at the core, I think there’s just a lack of trust across the board of the federal government? Do you think that’s what these governors are really saying, that ultimately anything the federal government tells them, they don’t trust?”


Palin speaks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Well, I don’t trust what the federal government is telling us,” Palin — who is out promoting her new book, “Sweet Freedom” — replied. “But even you should not trust that the federal government is telling you about the 18- to 24-month vetting process is as legit as perhaps they’re trying to make the public believe, because truly, there is no way to filter out those that would want to do this country harm with the process that we see in place today. And that’s why it’s not just Republican governors but Democrats too who are saying, ‘Wait a minute. Somebody’s got to be the last line of defense here, so the states are taking on that authority.’”

Meyers argued that there’s never going to be a process that guarantees “absolute safety.” And the former vice-presidential nominee agreed.

“If we were to strive to reach absolute safety, we would not have freedom,” Palin said. “If people have the choice here — I mean, we can have both, but we’re all about freedom. That’s a foundation of our country, so we’re not going to give up freedom for that.”

Freedom, Meyers said, is why the refugees “are so desperate to come here.”

“I think this idea that they’re coming here to infiltrate — I think that is fear-based,” he said. “I do think they want to come here and enjoy the same things you and I are lucky enough to enjoy.”

The studio audience applauded.

“I do think most people want to come to America to enjoy what it is that we’ve been blessed with,” Palin said. “I do, I do. It’s just unfortunate that we know, as we saw in Paris, there are some people who want to get to a country to do harm. But, no, I agree with you — for the most part, people want to be here to enjoy that exceptionalism that we’re all blessed to enjoy.”