But, I don’t buy it! The numbers will be much higher!
The UNHCR has been spouting-off that the US will be on par with Germany in taking Syrians which is 10,000 or more per year! Also, State Department honcho Simon Henshaw said in Turkey recently that our Syrian resettlement will come close to our Iraqi numbers in recent years which is close to 20,000 per year (approximately 68% of the Iraqis we are taking are Muslims)!
As you read this article with its several references to 2015, remember FY 2015 begins TODAY!
The Obama administration will greatly increase the number of Syrian refugees approved for permanent resettlement in the United States next year but has opted against a separate refugee program to serve victims of that intractable civil war, administration officials said Tuesday.
The State Department is reviewing more than 4,000 applications from Syrian refugees seeking permanent homes in the United States next year or beyond, up from dozens considered for resettlement this year and last, officials said. The expansion reflects determinations by the United Nations refugee agency and the United States that tens of thousands of refugees living outside Syria are unlikely to ever be able to return.
The White House said Tuesday that it has approved permanent resettlement for up to 70,000 refugees worldwide next year, the same figure as for fiscal 2014.
Up to 33,000 could be resettled from the Middle East and South Asia, including Syria. Although there is no set target for Syrian refugees, they are expected to form a far larger percentage of the total than ever before.
The State Department has received more than 4,000 referrals in recent months and is processing them, a State Department official said. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution, said “large numbers” of Syrian refugees will begin to arrive in 2015.
We are then expected to be grateful to Obama for not setting up a separate Syrian program to bring in even greater numbers which the refugee resettlement contractors must have been clamoring for. Remember the State Department kept the contractor’s testimony secret from the public here in June.
The Bhutanese resettlement program which the Bush Administration began will be closed we are told, so there will be lots more room in the regional allotment for the Syrians! We resettled over 8,000 Bhutanese in 11 months of FY2014, here.
So we will increase the number of Muslims entering the US because the Bhutanese are mostly Hindus (60%), Buddhists and Christians.
Next year, Syrians seeking resettlement in the United States will benefit from the closure of a dedicated program for refugees from Bhutan that has brought tens of thousands of refugees to America over several years.
Because all the nations of the Middle East and South Asia are lumped together for purposes of refugee consideration, elimination of special consideration for the Bhutanese gives other applicants from the same region a better shot.
More importantly, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has expanded the number of Syrians it screens for resettlement anywhere, including the United States.
The UN picks most of our refugees!
The overwhelming majority of refugees resettled in the United States are first identified as candidates by the UNHCR. The United States then does its own review. The UNHCR hopes to identify 50,000 for resettlement somewhere next year, and another 50,000 in 2016.
The WaPo story mentions briefly at the end that the Presidential Determination released yesterday does not mention Syrians by name at all—of course not! Would you expect any honesty from this White House in the run-up to November elections?
Update: Be sure to check the WaPo comments, they are more interesting than the news itself (well almost!).
Click here for our very large archive on Syrian refugees.