Posted on September 11, 2015 in Action Alerts
As the tragic images of 2-year old Aylan Kurdi and other Syrian children shocked the conscience of people around the world, there seems to finally be some focus by elected officials on the need to increase the amount of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States.
Despite being the worst humanitarian disaster of our time, the 1,243 Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. since 2011 make up less than 1 percent of refugees accepted. Part of the problem in taking in more Syrian refugees has been that a small group of members of Congress are framing this dire humanitarian crisis as a national security concern. These claims continue even today in spite of the fact that all refugees receive extensive screening and intelligence checks as they are among the most carefully vetted travelers to the U.S. As Molly Groom, the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security said at a Senate Hearing on the Syria refugee crisis in January 2014, “The refugee vetting process in place today employs robust security measures to protect against risks to our national security… DHS is committed to both preventing terrorists who may pose a threat to the United States from coming here, and honoring our tradition of protecting deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to our security.”
It is imperative that we act to support a significant increase in the amount of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. now. Congressman David Cicilline is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter in congress calling on President Obama to admit 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. 72 Congressional leaders have already signed on, click here to see if your Representative has.