U.S. President Barack Obama's goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this fiscal year will be achieved one month ahead of schedule Monday.
"On behalf of the president and his administration, I extend the warmest of welcomes to each and every one of our Syrian arrivals, as well as the many other refugees resettled this year from all over the world," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement.
Obama's resettlement program has emerged as a controversial issue in the U.S. presidential campaign after Republican nominee Donald Trump claimed Syrians are a potential security threat to the U.S. and proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country. Governors of more than 30 U.S. states have tried to block such refugees from settling in their states, despite having no authority to do so, according to legal experts.
Nearly 5 million Syrians have fled the civil war in the last five years. Most are confronted with harsh living conditions in nearby countries such as Jordan, which has hosted almost 660,000 Syrian refugees.
The U.S. will admit a total of at least 85,000 refugees this year from countries other than Syria, including Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia and Ukraine.
When world leaders gather in New York City for a session of the United Nations General AssembIy in late September, President Obama will lead a summit on the global refugee crisis, with the hope of boosting humanitarian aid and doubling the number of refugee resettlement opportunities.