US hits 85K refugee admission target in FY 2016

News Hour:

The United States resettled 84,994 refugees during fiscal year (FY) 2016 ending September 30th – just six people short of the 85,000 target set by the Obama administration last year.

At the same time, the administration announced a new ceiling of 110,000 refugees to be admitted to the US in FY 2017. The FY 2017 total represents a 57 percent increase over two years from the 70,000 refugees admitted to the United States in 2015.

“The (US State Department’s) Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has reached the refugee admission target for four consecutive years. In August and September alone, almost 25,000 refugees entered the US on commercial flights. This is the result of a remarkable partnership between many agencies including PRM, USCIS, UNHCR, the resettlement agencies and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” said Michel Tonneau, IOM’s Global Program Coordinator for the US Refugee Admission Program (USRAP).

The United States is one of 32 countries that have agreed to accept referrals from UNHCR as part of an ambitious international effort to secure permanent or temporary resettlement for thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries to escape the conflict.

In FY 2016, 12,587 Syrian refugees were admitted into the US, compared with 1,682 in 2015, exceeding the target of 10,000 set by President Obama.

USRAP is overseen by the US State Department’s PRM and supported by IOM, UNHCR and other implementing partners. IOM provides resettlement services including pre-departure medical examinations and treatment, cultural orientation and transport from sending countries to final destinations in the US.

The 85,000 refugees resettled to the United States in FY 2016 included 16,370 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12,587 from Syria, 12,347 from Myanmar, 9,880 from Iraq and 9,020 from Somalia.

With the increasing number of refugee admissions into the US this year, PRM and CBP, in coordination with IOM, opened two additional Ports of Entry: George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, and Dulles International Airport in Virginia. IOM now operates in a total of seven US Ports of Entry for refugee arrivals. The other five are in New York; New Jersey; Los Angeles; Chicago and Miami.

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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