The U.S. is about to welcome 10,000th Syrian refugee
The U.S. is about to welcome its 10,000th Syrian refugee as part of a resettlement program, U.S. ambassador to Jordan, Alice Wells, announced on Sunday.
The U.S. had planned to resettle a total of 10,000 Syrians this fiscal year, and that target will be hit on Monday, Wells said, the Associated Press reported.
10,000 accounts for just a small percentage of the total number of registered Syrian refugees—more than 4.8 million across countries including Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and North Africa, according to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. More than 8 million others are expected to be displaced inside of Syria in 2016, UNHCR says.
Click through images of Syrian refugees hoping to migrate:
The resettlement program, which focuses on refugees who are the most vulnerable, started off slowly before picking up pace by early this month, NPR reported. The U.S. is among other Western nations including Canada that have taken in Syrian refugees since conflict started in the country in 2011.
Speaking in Jordan on Sunday, Wells said that refugees are traveling to the U.S. on Sunday and Monday, and "soon they will land in the United States to start their new lives." She said she wanted to be clear that meeting the goal of resettling 10,000 refugees "did not come at the cost of our comprehensive and robust security measures."
The comment seemed to be aimed at quelling concerns that accepting refugees could lead to security threats inside the United States. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has spoken out against letting refugees in, saying doing so could allow terrorists to enter the country.
"Refugees are the most thoroughly screened category of travelers to the United States," Wells said on Sunday.
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