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Number of Syrian Refugees in US Doubled Last Month

  • VOA News

FILE - Syrian refugee children play as they wait with their families to register at the U.S. processing center for Syrian refugees, during a media tour held by the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, in Amman, Jordan, April 6, 2016.

FILE - Syrian refugee children play as they wait with their families to register at the U.S. processing center for Syrian refugees, during a media tour held by the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, in Amman, Jordan, April 6, 2016.

The number of Syrian refugees who entered the United States in June more than doubled over the previous month, putting President Barack Obama's goal of resettling 10,000 by the end of the fiscal year on September 30 within reach.

The U.S. State Department's Refugee Processing Center reports 2,381 Syrian refugees arrived in the U.S. last month. They settled in 38 states, mostly in Michigan (570), California (500), Arizona (388), Illinois (343), Pennsylvania (340), Texas (321) and Florida (301).

To meet the administration's goal, the United States must welcome 4,814 Syrian refugees during the next three months.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, 4.1 million Syrians have fled the country, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Many have settled in the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The war has contributed to the refugee crisis in Europe, which had taken in about 1 million Syrians in 2015.

The humanitarian crisis created by the war prompted Obama to call for a significant increase in the resettlement of Syrians in the United States. But efforts to accommodate them have been plagued by terror fears and congressional efforts to block the program.

The latest figures, though, significantly increase the likelihood that the administration's goal will be attained.

Meanwhile, there appears to be ample public support in the United States for Syrian refugees. A Brookings Institution poll released in mid-June found that most Americans, 59 percent, favored admitting refugees from Syria in particular and from other Middle Eastern countries.

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