Syrians only trickling in, but Obama State Dept. says they will get to 10,000 this year
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 23, 2016
We’ve been reporting, see here, that the US State Department is way behind in meeting Obama’s goal of admitting 10,000 Syrians to the US by the end of the fiscal year (September 30th).
However, here at The Nation, Lawrence Bartlett, Director of Refugee Admissions at the US State Department, says they expect to get them in here and located in 48 states (they would like to make it 49 with Montana) before that deadline:
It’s common for resettlement numbers to start low and increase by the end of the fiscal year. Still, the difficulty the administration will have in admitting a mere 10,000 Syrians in a single year underscores the deep political challenges facing the Obama administration in responding to the ongoing Syrian civil war. In the months since the announcement, high-profile terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have stoked anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, and the already onerous refugee resettlement application process has become even more stringent for Syrians. Despite this, the State Department says it still plans to meet its goal.
“We remain steadfastly committed to the President’s plan to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States in FY [fiscal year] 2016,” said Lawrence Bartlett, director of the State Department’s Office of Refugee Admissions, in a statement to The Nation. “We have met our admissions goals for each of the last three years, and we are on target to meet the goal of admitting 10,000 refugees from Syria and 85,000 refugees from all over the world, by the end of this fiscal year.” (The State Department didn’t set specific goals for Syrian refugees until this year, and only 1,682 were admitted in FY 2015.)
Has the so-called “interview surge” started?
Bartlett added that to meet the new goal, “from February through April, additional staff will be posted to Jordan, where they will conduct and support interviews of 10,000 UNHCR-referred refugee applicants,” referring to the UN’s refugee agency. In addition to the new efforts in Jordan, Barlett said the United States “will restart Department of Homeland Security refugee resettlement interviews in Beirut, Lebanon on February 18, 2016.” The vast majority of Syrian refugees are in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Still, it’s unlikely that any of the refugees who begin the screening process this month would be able to travel to the United States by October, the end of the fiscal year.
Read the whole article. It sounds to me that (despite Obama’s pronouncements) we have many steadfast officials in our security apparatus that are taking the screening process very seriously.
See in red, one more reminder that the UN is picking our refugees!
For our many new readers: Just now as I retrieved the link for the resettlement office map I was reminded that we have a page for “Frequently Asked Questions” on the header above. Please visit it!
A list of all resettlement offices is here.
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