U.S. hits goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees

By Justin Sink


The U.S. will hit its goal of taking in 10,000 refugees from Syria on Monday, a month ahead of the deadline set by President Barack Obama.

The announcement is a victory for the administration, which has said that by accepting more refugees, the U.S. would both help people fleeing the brutal Syrian civil war and gain credibility as it asked European partners to shoulder the burden of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence.

But it’s also sure to reinvigorate debate in the 2016 campaign, where Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has warned that the refugees pose a security risk. His running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, directed agencies in his state to attempt to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling there, and other Republican governors have also vowed to put up roadblocks. Republicans in Congress have questioned whether the screening process for the refugees is stringent enough.

Trump has criticized his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for supporting Obama’s plan, saying she’s more concerned with providing jobs to those fleeing conflict than those already in the U.S. Clinton has accused Trump, who once proposed a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S., of trying to stoke fear.

Delivery on the president’s pledge to admit 10,000 refugees reflects a dramatic increase in admissions in recent weeks. In the first six months after Obama’s announcement of the goal last Sept. 10, only about 1,200 Syrian refugees had resettled in the U.S.

Susan Rice, the president’s national security adviser, said the uptick was “a testament to the hard work and dedication of employees across the federal government” in responding to the crisis.

“While refugee admissions are only a small part of our broader humanitarian efforts in Syria and the region, the President understood the important message this decision would send, not just to the Syrian people but to the broader international community,” Rice said in a written statement.

The International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization, said in a statement that they hoped the White House would increase refugee admissions by an additional 55,000 in the coming fiscal year.

“Never before has the world witnessed such a dramatic scale of human displacement and suffering,” David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement. “As diplomacy fails to curb the fighting in Syria, leaving over half the population displaced, the United States should lead the world in making concrete commitments to refugee resettlement.”

The U.S. plans to hold a summit on refugee issues on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next month. At that meeting, the U.S. will ask other countries, as well as businesses and nonprofits, to boost humanitarian assistance funding and double the global number of refugees offered chances to resettle.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

In this photo posted to the Washington state Department of Ecology website and taken by the U.S. Coast Guard, people watch as emergency crews respond to the Walla Walla passenger ferry, which ran aground near Bainbridge Island west of Seattle, Saturday, April 15, 2023. (Lt. Cmdr. Brian Dykens/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
Edmonds-Kingston shuffle: 64-car ferry replaces 202-car boat, for now

The system-wide boat swap stems from the vessel Walla Walla out of service for four weeks for repairs.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Most Read