02 July 2016

Refugees from Syria

David Johnson and Andrew Katz have an article in Time about Syrian refugees:
The number of Syrian refugees who have arrived in the US nearly doubled in June of 2016, as the Obama administration aims to make good on its pledge to resettle at least ten thousand by the end of the fiscal year.
In all, five thousand Syrian refugees have arrived in the US since 1 October 2015, following President Obama’s directive to step up resettlement efforts, and just over two thousand of them arrived in June, according to records updated by the Refugee Processing Center, operated by the State Department.
They’ve been resettled across 38 states; Michigan has taken in the largest group of Syrian refugees, 570 so far, followed by California, which has taken in 500. But a dozen states have taken in no Syrian refugees, and many have taken in fewer than fifty.
In September of 2015, the White House announced the US would admit ten thousand refugees during the next fiscal year, ending 30 September 2016. With three months left to go, the administration has taken in just over five thousand. To meet its goal, the US must accept almost five thousand more over the next three months. This fiscal year’s total already well exceeds the seventeen hundred Syrian refugees taken in during the previous year, but pales in comparison to the nearly five million Syrians who have fled the war, now in its sixth year.
Millions remain in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan; the flow of people leaving Syria also contributed to a refugee crisis in Europe, which ended its calendar year having taken in a million migrants and refugees.
The screening process by which the US admits refugees is complex, and even more so for Syrians, spanning on average eighteen months to two years. Time broke down this process in a Q&A with Jana Mason, a senior adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which refers Syrian refugees to the US for resettlement.
Even if the administration hits its target, the ten thousand figure is overshadowed by Canada, which government records show has welcomed nearly thirty thousand Syrian refugees since early November of 2015.
Rico says that Americans are noted for their generosity; let's hope we (let alone the Canucks) don't regret our largesse... (But taking out Assad, as Rico has long advocated, would help the situation.)

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