(JNS.org) The Obama administration plans to bring 110,000 refugees to the United States in 2017 fiscal year, an almost 60 percent increase over last year, a White House spokesman said Wednesday.
While the State Department has not laid out a country-specific breakdown for the expected number of refugees they plan to admit into the U.S, there are global regional targets, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
The expected number of refugees include 40,000 for the Near East and Southeast Asia regions, 35,000 from Africa, 12,000 from East Asia, 5,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 4,000 from Europe.
“It’s important for people to remember that individuals who’ve been admitted to the United States under this program have to undergo more rigorous screening and vetting than any other individual that enters the United States,” Earnest said, although he didn’t say what that screening and vetting entails.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), chairman of the subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, criticized the plan, calling it a “complete betrayal.”
“Despite opposition by the American people, a documented link between terrorism and individuals admitted to the United States as refugees,” Sessions said. “Terrorists have announced that they will infiltrate the refugee population and have successfully done so multiple times in Europe over the last year.”
Obama believes the U.S. should “play an important role” in bringing refugees to the U.S. and will speak to other nations next week about addressing the refugee crisis originating from the war in Syria, Earnest said.