US Exceeds Resettlement Target of 10,000 Syrian Refugees

Posted: 
08/30/16
Themes: 
Resettlement

United States of America - The US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) with the support of IOM and coordination with UNHCR and other implementing partners, has resettled more than 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States during the US government’s Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16).

As of 29 August 2016, 10,172 Syrian refugees were admitted in the United States as part of the Obama administration’s promise to increase the number of Syrian refugee admissions by September 30, 2016.

The majority of Syrians resettled in the US during FY16 (87 percent) were processed by IOM’s Resettlement Support Center MENA (RSC MENA) based in Amman, Jordan.

“The Department of State is grateful for the tremendous collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration, the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and voluntary groups that help refugees. These organizations are front and center in the campaigns to resettle refugees from Syria and to address the current crisis – the worst humanitarian catastrophe since World War II,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement released Monday in Washington.

While most of the Syrian refugees processed by RSC MENA staff are located in Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, RSC MENA currently processes Syrian refugees located in 11 countries throughout the Middle East, Gulf and North Africa.

“This fiscal year, RSC MENA was faced with a challenge to dramatically increase our processing capacity without jeopardizing program integrity and security. Today, I feel proud of the great team work which led to reaching this important target of at least 10,000 Syrian refugee arrivals in the US,” said RSC MENA Project Manager Jeanette Camarillo.

“Meeting the goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees did not come at the cost of our comprehensive and robust security screening,” said US Ambassador to Jordan, Alice G. Wells, who met with Syrian refugees at the IOM office in Amman, Sunday, before their departure for the airport. “Refugees are the most thoroughly screened category of travellers to the United States, and Syrian refugees are subject to even greater scrutiny,” she added.

Nesrine, 20, who arrived on Monday (29/8) at New York’s JFK airport from Cairo, Egypt, is looking forward to starting a new life in Kansas City, Missouri, with her parents and four siblings.

“I always thought there would be a chance of going back home to Syria, but it never happened. So now, our future is here and finally I am going to resume school,” she said.  Nesrine has been out of school since 2013, when her family left Syria.

As of July 31, ten States accounted for roughly half of the refugees resettled. They included Michigan (870), California (730), Arizona (620), Texas (534), Pennsylvania (460), Illinois (448), New York (396), Florida (356), North Carolina (372) and Virginia (200).  

As of August 29, 2016, a total of 70,102 refugees entered the United States during FY16 as part of the United States Refugee Admission Program (USRAP). Overall, 85,000 refugees are expected to be admitted by the end of the fiscal year at the end of September.

Watch as the refugees arrive at New York’s JFK airport on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/IOMmigration/videos/10153896165099021/   and on Snapchat: @iomsnaps.

For further information, please contact Hajer Naili at IOM Washington, Email: hnaili@iom.int – Tel.:+1 202 568 3757.

Young Syrian refugees study a map of the US at IOM’s Amman office. Photo: Victoria Hazou / IOM