Despite public opposition and lawsuits from several states, Obama has forged ahead toward his pledged goal of admitting at least 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of September, and is now half-way there, having imported 5,211 Syrian refugees into the United States by June 30.
Obama’s initial pledge was to resettle 85,000 refugees from around the world during this fiscal year, including 10,000 Syrian refugees. By June 30, total refugee admissions had reached 49,791, reports Wall Street Journal… which means over 35,000 total refugees from around the world could be brought to the United States in the next two and a half months, if the original goal is to be met.
The United States admitted 105 Syrian refugees in 2014, and 1,682 in 2015.
Due to security checks, it takes about two years for a refugee to be admitted to the U.S. Typically, the vetting includes several interviews of family members, together and apart, background checks, fingerprinting and iris scans, among other things.
The increase in arrivals “does not represent a curtailment, in any way, of our comprehensive and robust security screening,” said the State Department spokesman. “Syrian refugees are subject to even more scrutiny” than other refugees, he added.
But Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which is critical of U.S. refugee-resettlement efforts, said he wasn’t confident in the vetting.
“They aren’t going to admit the next 5,000 Syrians in three months unless they are rushing through the supposedly rigid security screening,” he said.
Last month a federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by Texas over the refugee resettlement program. Texas wanted to suspend the program, saying the federal government had not consulted with the state before dumping the refugees into their state. The judge ruled the state didn’t have any authority to stop the feds, and hadn’t presented any evidence that proved the Muslim refugees were a threat.
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