Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

White House Makes Plans to Admit 10,000 More Syrian Refugees

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

White House Makes Plans to Admit 10,000 More Syrian Refugees

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is making plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming budget year, a significant increase from the 1,500 who have been cleared to resettle in the United States since civil war broke out in the Middle Eastern country more than four years ago, the White House said Thursday. The White House has been under heavy pressure to do more than just provide money to help meet the humanitarian crisis in Europe. Tens of thousands of people from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa are risking their lives and dying en masse during desperate attempts to seek safe haven on the continent.

The refugees from Syria, however, would be people who already are in the pipeline and waiting to be let into the United States, not the thousands working their way through Eastern Europe and landing in Greece. It was not clear Thursday how admitting a larger number of Syrian refugees who already are being processed would help alleviate the crisis European countries are grappling with.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said about $4 billion that the administration has provided to relief agencies and others is the most effective way for the United States to help shoulder the crisis but that President Obama has decided admitting more Syrian refugees in the budget year that begins Oct. 1 also would help boost the U.S. response.

About 17,000 Syrians have been referred over the past few years to the United States for resettlement by the U.N.'s refugee agency. About 1,500 are in the United States, with another 300 scheduled to be allowed in this month. That leaves about 15,000 Syrians waiting for the clearance process to conclude, according to the State Department.

Obama wants to admit 10,000 of those, according to Earnest's announcement.

Earnest said earlier this week that the administration has been looking at a "range of approaches for assisting U. …

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