The White House informed Congress that the federal government will accept 110,000 refugees into the country from all over the world during the next fiscal year, which begins next month. While the announced plan angered some Republicans who are worried about security and economic issues, some Democrats say that it does not go far enough. The 30-percent increase angered Republicans but disappointed Democrats and supporters who contend that the United States should take in 200,000 refugees. Across the world, the United Nations calculates that there around 65 million displaced people.
 
“We must remain compassionate toward refugees but we also need to make sure that we use common sense,” read a statement from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). He accused President Barack Obama of not considering the impact refugees will have on the American communities in which they resettle.
 
“Terrorists have announced that they will infiltrate the refugee population and have successfully done so multiples times in Europe over the last year,” Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said in a statement. “These asylum-seekers are overwhelmingly male who make the journey from hotbeds of terrorism to countries throughout Europe.”
 
Donald Trump has called for a complete ban on immigration from Syria. His running mate, Gov. Mike Pence halted resettlement of Syrians in Indiana in 2015. He joined about 25 Republican governors who also cited concerns over the federal government’s role in vetting applicants for immigration or refugee status. Earlier this year, a federal judge blocked Pence’s action, but Indiana has appealed and will argue Pence’s case tomorrow before the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago.
 
Nearly fifty Democrats in the House of Representatives signed a measure last November that would halt resettlement of Iraqi and Syrian refugees until the federal government modifies its screening process. Critics point out that one of the terrorists  who carried out an attack last year in Sacramento -- a Muslim extremist from Pakistan -- had been cleared by American diplomatic personnel to enter the U.S.
 
The Obama administration, however, decided to accept 10,000 refugees from Syria during the current fiscal year and met its mark. There are 56 percent of Democrats who support the admission of Syrian refugees, while only 18 percent of Republicans do.
 
POLITICO reported, based on a government report,  that the White House plans to accept even more Syrian refugees in the coming fiscal year.
 
“While the vast majority of Syrians would prefer to return home when the conflict ends, it is clear that some remain extremely vulnerable in their countries of asylum and would benefit from resettlement,” the report states, according to Politico.
 
“The administration is trying to send a signal to other countries that they should increase the number they settle,” Jennifer Quigley of Human Rights First told The Wall Street Journal. “Congress could hinder the ability of the US to resettle refugees by limiting the amount of money going to the effort,” Quigley said

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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