WASHINGTON – President Obama has decided that the United States should take in at least 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next year, White House officials said Thursday.
Obama has passed the directive on to his administration, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during his afternoon briefing, adding that the president and Secretary of State John F. Kerry are “in alignment” on the numbers.
The U.S. will also urge other nations in the region and around the world to step up their current efforts to take in refugees.
The U.S. commitment is for the fiscal year that begins next month, officials said. During the current fiscal year, some 1,600 Syria refugees have come to the United States.
That’s less than 10% of the total number of names submitted by the United Nations, but Obama administration officials say the screening process for admitting refugees is difficult and time-consuming.