The United States expects to receive as many as 110, 000 refugees over the course of the next year, according to an announcement that the White House issued this past Wednesday. This proposal will be about a 30% increase from the 85, 000 refugees that had been allowed in years prior.
The civil war in Syria, in addition to the struggles experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq, have contributed to the rise in foreign nationals wishing to seek refuge in the U.S.
According to the White House, estimates total the following numbers will come from these regions:
- 40, 000 from South Asia and the Middle East
- 35, 000 from Africa
- 12, 000 from East Asia
- 5, 000 from Latin America and the Caribbean
- 4, 000 from Europe
Concerns had been voiced about the refugee program and if it would pose a threat to national safety. This comes on the tails of the fact that a large number of terrorist attacks had occurred in Europe in the past year. Those involved in these attacks reportedly had some ties to or had spent some time in Syria.
U.S. Safety Is the Number One Priority
Officials are in agreement that an extensive and thorough screening process will take place with every refugee seeking to enter the U.S. The entire process will last about a year, and there will be interviews with the individual, biometric screening, and in-depth analysis of the person’s biographical history.
The White House announcement is following in the footsteps of the address that President Obama had made to admit 10, 000 Syrian refugees, which was considered a somewhat lofty goal. Syria has experienced at least half a million deaths in its civil war, with millions without a place to call home. The U.S. has been prompting other countries to open their doors and relieve some of the burdens that the refugee crisis has brought.
Filippo Grandi, a refugee agency chief for the United Nations, offered the following statement: “[The U.S.] is by far the largest donor government to refugee programs worldwide.”