30 August 2016
Susan Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, said on Tuesday in Washington that the country would admit its 10,000th Syrian refugee this year.
Rice disclosed that government had previously admitted just 1,800 Syrians from 2011 until the end of last year.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that we will meet this goal more than a month ahead of schedule.
“Our 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive this afternoon,” she said.
She said that government was meeting its goal for the year after earlier coming under pressure for not doing more to address the flood of people fleeing the Syrian conflict.
Critics noted that amid pressure from European allies dealing with a flood of refugees from the ongoing Syrian civil war, U.S. President Barack Obama last year set the goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees to the country by the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
They said Obama’s plan had drawn significant political backlash from Republicans and state governors concerned about the potential of would-be terrorists to enter the U.S. through the programme.
The critics noted that Washington responded by pointing to its rigorous screening of refugees before they arrive.
They said that the issue had become a flashpoint in the presidential election, in which Republican nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. amid terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S.
“Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the region have crossed into Europe to claim asylum.
“Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees said on Sunday that it was expecting up to 300,000 refugees to arrive in the country this year,’’ critics said.