Tags: Barack Obama | Syria | Syrian Refugees | Obama | Fiscal Goal | Resettled

US Welcomes 10,000th Syrian Refugees, 30K More Waiting to Be Resettled

Image: US Welcomes 10,000th Syrian Refugees, 30K More Waiting to Be Resettled

In this photo taken Sunday, August 28, 2016, five members of the Jouriyeh family, Syrian refugees headed to the U.S. as part of a resettlement program. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Aug 2016 12:04 PM

The 10,000 Syrian refugees of this fiscal year arrived the afternoon of Aug. 29, which beats President Barack Obama's fiscal-year goal with more than a month left, according to The Washington Times.

Some 30,000 more are ready to be resettled, according to the Times. Human rights advocates said that 10,000 refugees are a good start, and called for Obama to speed up the process.

The Obama administration is aiming to increase its target goal for 2017, according to Al Jazeera.

"While refugee admissions are only a small part of our broader humanitarian efforts in Syria and the region, the president understood the important message this decision would send, not just to the Syrian people but to the broader international community," Susan Rice, U.S. national security adviser said, reports Al Jazeera.

Critics in Congress of Syrian refugee resettlement worry about the rapid increase, the Times reported. In October 2015, fewer than 200 were resettled, and that number rose higher than 2,000 in June, July, and August.

The United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees has cleared at least 46,000 for resettlement since 2013. 12,000 have been accepted so far, the report said.

Obama's press secretary Josh Earnest said, "I think the president would like to see a ramping-up of those efforts. But I think the president's also realistic about how quickly that could happen."

Melanie Nezer, the vice president of policy at the refugee advocacy group HIAS, called for the administration to commit to bringing in more refugees, according to the Times, saying, "Now that our government has proven it can securely offer safety to 10,000 refugees desperately fleeing the Syrian conflict, it's time to redouble our efforts and commit to protecting 200,000 refugees fleeing persecution all over the world in the coming year."

The U.N.'s refugee agency UNHCR has registered around 5 million Syrians who were displaced in that country's civil war. The U.S. depends on the United Nations to refer candidates, then Homeland Security and State Department officials perform their own checks and issue the final approvals, the Times reports. 

Obama administration officials said that Syrian refugees get the highest scrutiny of any immigrant, including some whose social media is being checked for signs of radical action.

More than 99 percent of the Syrians accepted into the U.S. are Muslim, and 11 percent are men ages 14 to 30, the prime subgroup for being radicalized into terrorist activity, the Times reported.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez said officers can spot falsified applications and dangerous refugees. He said 92 percent of applications get approved, while 8 percent are rejected, according to The Times.

Republican lawmakers remain concerned. They attempted to pass a requirement for FBI and intelligence chiefs to sign off on every refugee, but the Democrats filibustered the bill, which led to its demise.

The Times reported that San Diego has accepted the most refugees among U.S. cities, with 142 in August and 550 in 2016 so far. Glendale, Arizona has taken in almost 370 in 2016 so far.

Michigan has taken in almost four times as many refugees as California, which has four times Michigan's population, the Times reported.

Many allies of the United States have taken in more refugees than the U.S. has. Germany has accepted hundreds of thousands, while Canada admitted almost 30,000 between November 2015 and May 2016, according to Al Jazeera.

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The 10,000 Syrian refugees of this fiscal year arrived the afternoon of Aug. 29, which beats President Barack Obama's fiscal-year goal with more than a month left, according to The Washington Times.
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Tuesday, 30 Aug 2016 12:04 PM
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