The U.S. has slashed its refugee intake. Syrians fleeing war are most affected

By | May 11, 2019

The Washington Post reports:

Mariam Rastanawi fled Homs, Syria, in 2012, hoping to escape a protracted civil war amid fears that remaining in her native country would amount to a death sentence. Seeking refuge in the United States, a country she saw as sympathetic to her plight, she and her husband waited years in exile without a permanent home.

In March, they were shocked to learn that they were being admitted to the United States as refugees, and their spring arrival in Indianapolis was akin to winning the lottery. The country used to allow thousands of Syrians to immigrate, but the flow of Syrian refugees is at an almost complete stop.

“We are so happy, thank God,” Rastanawi said through a translator. “We didn’t think it would be this long.”

Under the Trump administration, the number of refugees allowed into the United States has fallen to its lowest level since the resettlement program began in 1980. And few groups have been as affected as Syrians, who have been fleeing a brutal civil war that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead since it began in 2011.

The number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States in fiscal 2016 was 12,587. In fiscal 2018, the United States admitted 62.

“Syrian refugees are the largest population of refugees seeking resettlement,” said Nazanin Ash, vice president of policy and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee. “Their vulnerability is increasing while U.S. policy is reducing admissions.” [Continue reading…]

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