As the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East and Europe continues, the White House announced today that America will take in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year. The majority of asylum seekers heading to Europe are fleeing the civil war in Syria. Since the conflict began four years ago, the U.S. has taken in just 1,300 refugees, The New York Times reports.
“The president has directed his team to consider how we can further scale up our response and one thing that the United States can do is to begin to admit more Syrian refugees into the United States,” said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary, according to ABC News. “The president has directed his team to scale up that number next year and he's informed his team that he would like them to accept, at least make preparations to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year.”
Earnest added that another 1,500 Syrian refugees will be accepted before the end of the fiscal year–meaning the end of September.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a closed-door meeting that the total cap on refugees, which is currently set at 70,000, could be raised to 100,000, according to the New York Times. Some of the 10,000 Syrian refugees would be part of that additional 30,000.