- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a staff writer for Foreign Policy, where he oversees FP's breaking news blog, The Cable. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
Refugees have proven to be a divisive issue on the campaign trail; Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump constantly rails against them, accusing the Obama administration of admitting what he calls would-be terrorists. He won’t be happy Wednesday.
That’s because the White House plans to take in more refugees in the upcoming fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. The United States will admit up to 110,000 refugees in fiscal 2017, up from 85,000 this fiscal year. That amounts to an increase of 30 percent from 2016, and a jump of almost 60 percent from 2015.
President Barack Obama is expected to make the announcement next week during the United Nations General Assembly meeting. According to multiple reports, Secretary of State John Kerry briefed lawmakers on the plan Tuesday.
What happens next remains to be seen. Last year, with Syrian refugees flooding into Europe, the White House increased the number of refugees it would admit from the war-torn country. That led Republican governors in roughly two dozen states to express their opposition to receiving Syrians. Some governors filed lawsuits to stop refugees from coming to their states; they lost.
In a statement, Eleanor Acer, senior director for the refugee program at Human Rights First, praised the decision. But she noted Congress still has to provide money to screen more refugees entering the country.
“Congress has a choice: it can advance U.S. national security and humanitarian interests by supporting — and urging bolder — U.S. leadership to address this major global crisis, or it can engage in petty partisan bickering that scapegoats the victims of terror and repression and undermines U.S. foreign policy and national security interests,” Acer said.
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