#RefugeesWelcome: U.S. Admits 10,000 Syrian Refugees This Year
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement on the United States reaching President Obama’s stated goal of increasing the number of Syrian refugees permitted to resettle in the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admission Program.
Secretary Kerry noted, “A year ago, President Obama set the goal of welcoming at least 10,000 of the most vulnerable refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria to the United States. Today, by committing additional resources to our refugee admissions process and maintaining our rigorous screening process and commitment to the security of the American people, we have reached that goal. Since 1975, over 3.2 million refugees have joined the fabric of American society, each one making us a stronger, more pluralistic society.”
Emphasizing the importance of interagency and international partners, Secretary Kerry expressed his gratitude for the State Department’s collaboration with the United States Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, and volunteer groups that help refugees. Secretary Kerry noted that these organizations are front and center in the campaigns to resettle refugees from Syria and to address the current crisis –- the worst humanitarian catastrophe since World War II.
In addition to resettling some of the most vulnerable refugees, Secretary Kerry highlighted ways in which the State Department and the U.S. government has focused on providing humanitarian assistance and protection to refugees in the places to which they have fled, so they can return home when the conflict ends. Secretary Kerry stated, “That is why we have been working so hard with the International Syria Support Group and the United Nations to find an end to this conflict through diplomacy; and that is why we have made such a large commitment to humanitarian assistance in Syria and the region — nearly $5.6 billion so far — helping the millions of Syrian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in the region.”
Secretary Kerry also acknowledged, “…more needs to be done to help those who are besieged inside Syria; more has to be done to assist refugees; more has to be done to support Syria’s neighbors, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey; and more has to be done to resolve this brutal conflict that has cost far too many lives and forced far too many people from their homes.”
Secretary Kerry closed his statement with a reminder that on September 20, President Obama will host the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees -– a high-level event on the margins of the UN General Assembly to increase humanitarian assistance and create more long-term, durable opportunities for refugees -– not just for the millions of Syrian refugees, but for those fleeing intense strife and persecution in all places.
This story was originally published on DipNote, the U.S. Department of State’s Official Blog.