State Department Shatters Record For Single-Day Refugee Approvals
The State Department set a single-day record for the amount of Syrian refugee approvals in the United States on Monday. President Obama is seeking to reach his 10,000 approval goal by vamping up the amount of approvals each day.
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On Monday, there were was a record setting 225 approvals by the State Department. On Tuesday, there were an additional 80 refugees admitted.
As of Tuesday, 2,540 refugees have been approved since Obama stated his goal of admitting 10,000 refugees between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. In order to reach the goal that the State Department has set, they will have to admit roughly 60 applicants a day.
Of the refugees approved by the State Department, 97% are Sunni Muslims and the Obama administration is being criticized for not putting more of a focus on Christian refugees.
Officials say that the approval process is not cutting any corners, but many security experts fear that is not the case and the State Department is skipping steps to meet their approval goal. Officials claim that approval screening is much faster than it used to be since they are getting better at it.
However, the numbers are suspicious since the spike in approvals have risen tremendously. More refugees were accepted on Monday than the total amount of refugees approved in the months of January or February.
The Obama administration has sent in staff to Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan to interview refugees. The State Department says that they are right on track to bring in the additional 7,000 refugees by the end of September. Between February and April, the staff interviewed 12,000 applicants in Jordan that were referred by the U.N.
State Department officials intend to steadily increase the amount of refugees approved daily until September. Senator Richard J. Durbin and Senate Democrats wrote a letter last week stating that there was not enough being done to admit refugees into the United States. He cited that other countries were admitting at a faster pace and that the United States should not be falling behind them.
Refugees, especially Syrian refugees do go through the most thorough check system out of all people entering the United States, but there are mistakes being made. Two men that arrived in the United States through a refugee application were charged with terrorism-related offenses back in January.
Several states have made efforts to prevent admitting refugees by not working with Obama’s administration. Congressional Republicans have made efforts to slow down the admission process by creating a proposal that would require large national security entities to sign off on each refugee application. Their efforts were unsuccessful as Democrats filibustered the proposal.
This Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee for the House will vote on legislation that will require USCIS to check the social media profiles of applicants looking to get visas to enter the United States from untrustworthy countries.