With the growing Syrian refugee status wreaking havoc in Europe, Secretary of State John Kerry announced today that the United States would also increase its cap for refugees to 100,000 by 2017. The current quote is 70,000 (via NYT):
Under the new plan, the American limit on refugee visas would be increased to 85,000 in the fiscal year 2016. The cap would then rise to 100,000 the following year.
Mr. Kerry said that the United States would explore ways to increase the limit beyond 100,000 in future years while carrying out background checks to ensure that the refugees have not been infiltrated by terrorists.
“This step is in keeping with America’s best tradition as a land of second chances and a beacon of hope,” Mr. Kerry said in his prepared remarks. “And it will be accompanied by continued financial contributions to the humanitarian effort — not only from the U.S. government, but from the American people. The need is enormous, but we are determined to answer the call.”
Among the beneficiaries of the new policy will be Syrians. The United States has taken in about 1,500 Syrian refugees since the conflict began more than four years ago, while Europe has been absorbing hundreds of thousands.
We’ve already accepted 10,000 Syrians fleeing their national’s brutal civil war, despite national security concerns.