Washington – The United States will take in at least 10 000 Syrian refugees beginning next month, the White House said on Thursday.
“The president has directed his team to consider how we can further scale up our response, and one thing that the United States can do is to begin to admit more Syrian refugees into the United States,” spokesperson Josh Earnest said.
“He’s informed his team that he’d like them to make preparations to accept at least 10 000 in the next fiscal year.”
The US will also focus on providing for basic humanitarian needs of refugees abroad, Earnest said.
The US had been planning to accept more Syrians even before the recent influx of asylum-seekers into Europe, but will do so in “careful”, deliberate process, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday, noting it takes 18-24 months to vet asylum-seekers before admitting them.
The US has been criticised by human rights groups for not doing more to resettle Syrian refugees.
Last year, the US resettled 70 000 refugees from around the world. For the 11 months through August, the US had resettled nearly 1 300 refugees from Syria.
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