The 10,000th Syrian Refugee Arrives In The United States Today

Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images.
Migrants and refugees from Afghanistan and Syria stood in line at the port in Mytilene, Greece, prior to boarding a ferry that brought 500 refugees to Athens on March 9, 2016.
The 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive in the United States today, NBC News reported.

The announcement came after the U.S. ambassador to Jordan, Alice Wells, told The Associated Press that several hundred Syrians would be departing from Jordan after Sunday.

Last September, President Obama promised to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the 2016 fiscal year. With this arrival, the administration has met its goal one month in advance.

"The president understood the important message this decision would send, not just to the Syrian people, but to the broader international community," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement, according to NBC News. "Millions have been displaced by the violence in the region, but this decision still represented a sixfold increase from the prior year, and was a meaningful step that we hope to build upon."

Rice didn't mention the name of the refugee, or where he or she will be relocated.

Since the civil war started five years ago, more than 4.8 million Syrians have fled the country. However, less than 2% have relocated to the U.S., NBC News reported.

The screening process for refugees entering the United States is extremely rigorous and can take from 18 to 24 months — sometimes even longer.

Back in April, halfway through the fiscal year, the U.S. had only taken in 1,285 new refugees — about 13% of the Obama administration's goal.

Though 10,000 may seem low when compared to the amount other countries have been taking in, it's still more than the 8,000 Afghan refugees who have received visas in the last two years through a State Department program. The initiative provides support to interpreters who helped U.S. troops and are now facing an "ongoing" threat. Roughly 12,000 Afghan interpreters are still in immigration limbo due to a political gridlock that has yet to be resolved.
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