NPR logo

U.S. To Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees Next Year

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/439246943/439246944" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
U.S. To Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees Next Year

U.S.

U.S. To Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees Next Year

U.S. To Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees Next Year

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/439246943/439246944" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The U.S. announces it will create slots for accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, which is far less than what the United Nations is asking it to take.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Obama administration says it is now making plans to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year. The administration also says it needs money from Congress to do that. But some lawmakers have been encouraging the Obama administration to do much more in the face of the migrant crisis. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: White House spokesman Josh Earnest says it takes time to vet refugees.

JOSH EARNEST: There's biographical and biometric information that is collected about these individuals. They have to submit to in-person interviews to discuss their case, and you know, that process typically takes 12 to 18 months. And the reason for that process is that the safety and security of the U.S. homeland comes first.

KELEMEN: UN Refugee Agency has referred to the U.S. more than 18,000 cases. Only about 1,500 Syrians have made it here so far. The U.S. is now preparing to take in 10,000, a goal that may not be reached and one that advocates say is still far too small to make a difference. Senator Patrick Leahy and several other Democrats had been urging the U.S. to take in as many as 65,000 Syrians, arguing the U.S. should be leading the way. White House spokesman Earnest said that would require a lot more officials working on those background checks.

EARNEST: So Congress would need to make a significant financial commitment to ramping up along those lines.

KELEMEN: He says the U.S. is leading the way in humanitarian aid for the millions of Syrians uprooted by war. Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.