Obama Administration Plans to Accept 110,000 Refugees in 2017


The Obama administration plans to accept at least 110,000 refugees from around the world in fiscal year 2017.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry briefed lawmakers Tuesday on the new goal, which is an increase from 85,000 in fiscal year 2016, and 70,000 in the previous three years. It represents a 57 percent increase in refugee arrivals since 2015, as ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere have spurred an exodus of migrants seeking asylum in Europe, Canada and other regions.

A senior administration official, who asked for anonymity because the policy is not yet officially announced, “is consistent with our belief that all countries should do more to help the world’s most vulnerable people.”

The official added that Kerry told lawmakers “that if it is possible to do more” in terms of accepting refugees, “we would.”

The increase comes even as the question of refugees has emerged as an issue in this year’s presidential campaign. GOP nominee Donald Trump initially called for a halt to Muslims seeking to entering the United States, and later modified this goal to say the ban should apply to any applicants coming from a country with a history of terrorism. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has called for the United States to accept more refugees from Syria, which has been embroiled in conflict for more than five years.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post. Juliet Eilperin