With millions of Syrians displaced since the beginning of the conflict there in 2011, the number of people resettled in the U.S. is much less than those taken in by other nations. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin is calling on President Obama to change that by accepting 100,000 refugees, according to an article published by the Huffington Post .
Durbin is the first senator to call for such a large increase, but he has now been joined by 72 House Democrats who agree that such an increase is necessary to alleviate the global Syrian refugee crisis, the report stated.
“When Germany stepped forward and said they’d take 800,000, I think it was a reminder that the scope of this problem far exceeds any numbers that we’ve considered to date,” he said according to the Huffington Post article.
As recently as Monday in an op-ed co-authored by Durbin and reported by CNN, he had proposed a figure of 65,000 refugees as an adequate U.S. commitment. That figure has increased as other lawmakers have come on board with the idea.
Admitting 100,000 Syrians would be an expensive task, since refugees go through an extensive security check and a health screening.
“There’s talk among my colleagues about a supplemental appropriation, because all of these people have to be carefully vetted. I’m for that,” he said in the Huffington Post. “But let’s make a commitment here to do something significant.”
Many Republicans disagree with the idea, citing concerns over security or refugees who are not sincere about their need for help.
GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee expressed skepticism over whether the refugees required such assistance.
The Washington Post quotes Huckabee as saying, “Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we’ve got cable TV?”