Obama Wants The U.S. To Increase Its Intake Of Syrian Refugees

On Thursday, President Obama promised that his administration would speed up its intake of Syrian refugees to grow to the goal of 10,000 migrants that was set last year.

During the daily White House press briefing, Obama made a surprise appearance saying “Administratively, I think now we have the process to speed it up." He added, “There may be efforts on the part of Congress to try to block us. But our goal is to continue to try to make the case to Congress and the American people that this is the right thing to do. We believe that we can hit those marks before the end of the year.”

The administration is currently far behind the president’s goal of allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. by the end of the fiscal year 2016 in October. Obama set the goal last summer, amid an intensifying battle over the U.S.'s refugee policy.

Based on State Department data, the U.S. has accepted 1,703 refugees. Obama went on to say, “We’re going to keep on pushing. And part of what has made this challenging is that we want to make sure that we can, as much as possible, provide the American people an assurance that everybody here has been vetted at a very high standard.”

Republicans have warned that the refugee stream could provide a pathway for extremists to enter the country. In addition, lawmakers in Congress have tried to halt the intake of Syrian refugees--although the efforts have not reached the president’s desk.

The civil war in Syria has created the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. Neighboring countries are overwhelmed with millions of refugees. Obama said on Thursday, “It’s important for us to send a signal around the world that we care about these folks."

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