Politics

In Midst Of Syrian Refugee Crisis, Secretary Of State John Kerry Proposes Increasing The Number Of Refugees Allowed In The U.S.

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Refugees from Syria and other war-ravaged nations have been dramatically flooding Europe -- and now more of those immigrants might be sheltered in the United States. 

Currently, the U.S. allows a maximum of 70,000 refugees per year, but the Obama administration is seeking to increase that number, Politico reported. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Judiciary subcommittee on immigration on Sept. 9 and told reporters that Obama is weighing the options. An unidentified senior State Department official said that Kerry asked to increase the number of refugees allowed into the U.S.

“We are committed to increasing the number of refugees that we take. And we are looking hard at a number that we can specifically manage with respect to the crisis in Syria and Europe,” Kerry said. “That’s being vetted fully right now and I think at the appropriate time we’ll have a better sense of what exactly that number will be.”

According to the United Nations, the number of refugees in the world has reached an all-time high, surpassing even World War II. CNN reported Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan alone have already taken in nearly 4 million refugees.

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Though Kerry’s proposal was reportedly met with mixed-reactions, even top Republicans have acknowledged that foreign policy making in Syria has contributed to the rush of people who are so desperate to escape, they’re willing to risk their own lives and those of their family members. 

After Kerry made his remarks, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona stood on the Senate floor in front of the now-famous photo of a drowned Syrian toddler. “It is a mass exodus of refugees fleeing conflicts that the United States has refused to address for years," McCain said.

“Stop calling them migrants. These are refugees.”

Sources: Politico, United Nations, CNN Image via Freedom House/Flickr