Obama directs US government to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees


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The Independent US

With the White House under pressure to join European nations in addressing the global crisis, President Barack Obama will make a “significant” push to accept 10,000 refugees in the next fiscal year.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest made the announcement during Thursday’s press briefing.

“The president has directed his team to scale up that number next year. And he’s informed his team that he would like them to accept, at least make preparations to accept, at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year.”

The New York Times reports that Mr Earnest described Germany’s talks to accept 800,000 and Venezuela’s vow to bring in 20,000 refugees as “demonstrating tremendous generosity and hospitality.” When asked if he would describe the US effort with the same vigor, Mr Earnest said: “The challenge that is facing Germany right now is different than the challenge we’re facing.”

Congress would need to approve any relocation effort, but members of the Republican and Democratic parties have announced the willingness to support such efforts.

Mr Earnest also said the administration has provided $4 billion in humanitarian aid.

The next fiscal year begins on 1 October.