President Obama Tells Goverment To Accept 10,000 Syrians Into The US
President Barack Obama is telling the American government to expect “significant scaling up” of Syrian refugee admissions, under which the U.S. will take in at least 10,000 Syrians next year.
With refugees from Syria spilling into the surrounding countries and Europe, the U.S. is under pressure to conduct more resettlement, in addition to the approximately $4 billion in aid it gives to assist refugees overseas. About 4 million Syrians have left their homes since the beginning of the civil war there in 2011. Earnest told reporters at a press briefing that the U.S. is on track to have taken in 1,500 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.
Obama’s proposal of 10,000 admissions comes after initial indications that the administration would allow in more refugees in the next fiscal year. For the past three years, the refugee admission number has been about 70,000, but Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the administration is “committed to increasing the number.” He did not offer reporters details about the exact figure, although a Senate aide said Kerry told lawmakers it would be at least 75,000 refugees total and he was aiming for even more.
The latest plan to admit 10,000 refugees, though larger than the number Kerry floated, is unlikely to appease refugee groups and others advocating for the U.S. to resettle more people. The International Rescue Committee called for the U.S. to accept at least 65,000 Syrians by the end of 2016, and some Democratic lawmakers have echoed that figure.
Refugee resettlement organizations say the government should go beyond 65,000 Syrians and instead admit 100,000 people from Syria and 100,000 from other countries.
The administration has not yet announced the total refugee admission numbers for next year, but will need to do so by the end of the month. Earnest said the overall cap will go up next year, but has not been determined. He pointed out that the increases that some members of Congress are calling for would require more resources.