News & Resources

IRAP in The Seattle Times: U.S. Pledge To Take 10,000 Syrians Is A Good Signal, but Need Is Great

The Seattle Times today featured IRAP in an article exploring the value of the United States’ pledge to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees for resettlement. Many advocates have criticized the U.S. government for doing too little to ensure meaningful protection for Syrians fleeing persecution.

“While traditionally a world leader in refugee resettlement, the United States has faced criticism for its response to the Syrian conflict,” notes the Times. “[O]nly about 1,600 Syrians have been resettled since the beginning of the civil war that started in 2011 that’s killed more than 200,000 and displaced millions in what advocates call the worst such crisis since World War II.”

“It’s a good signal that we’re responding to the crisis but, functionally, it’s not a meaningful dent given the scope of the crisis,” IRAP’s Policy Director, Katie Reisner, told the Times. “It’s also not meaningful relative to historical precedent. After Vietnam, we were able to have over 200,000 South Vietnamese come to the United States within a year.”

Many advocates are concerned not only that the 10,000 figure is too low given the scale of the crisis, but also that bureaucratic delays in the refugee application process will prevent thousands of Syrians from ever reaching safety in the United States.

Read the full piece here, and please share it with your networks using the hashtags #Syria, #SyrianRefugees, and #RefugeesWelcome to draw attention to this issue.