State Department Lifts Refugee Cap In Response To Europe Crisis

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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The Obama administration is lifting the annual cap on refugees in order to take in an extra 45,000 migrants by 2018, Secretary of State John Kerry said in Berlin Sunday.

By 2017 the cap will be set at 100,000 new refugees per year — up from the current cap of 70,000 — in response to the European migrant crisis, reported The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: US Has Half The Population Of Latin America, Six Times The Migrants)

The U.S. will admit an extra 15,000 refugees in 2016 and an extra 30,000 refugees in 2017, for a combined total of 185,000 new refugees in the next two fiscal years, Kerry said. At least 10,000 of those refugees will be from war-torn Syria — per President Obama’s order last week.

“The need is enormous, but we are determined to answer the call,” Kerry said Sunday.

Europe is struggling to figure out how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of migrants pouring across its borders from the Middle East and Africa — primarily from Syria. Germany expects to take in 1 million in the next year. (RELATED: WSJ Admits Migrant Wave Will Burden European Economy)

The U.S. has admitted less than 2,000 Syrian refugees since 2011, but Obama announced last week that an additional 10,000 will be admitted this year. Kerry did not specify where the other migrants might come from. The 70,000 refugees admitted last year were primarily from Myanmar, Iraq and Somalia.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper said recently the possibility of the Islamic State using the Syrian refugee crisis as a ticket into Europe is a “huge concern” of intelligence officials. (RELATED: Migrants Heading To Europe Predominantly Adult Men)

Although the U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the global population, it takes in one in five of the world’s migrants and is currently hosting 45.8 million migrants. No other country has taken in more than one-twentieth of the world’s migrant population.

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