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White House: Last of 10k Syrian refugees will arrive this week

The Obama administration will meet its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year a month ahead of schedule and is working with Congress to increase the target by a few thousand in 2018, the White House said on Monday.

The US ambassador to Jordan, Alice Wells, Sunday described the resettlement numbers as "a floor, not a ceiling".

"The Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, wants to ban anyone coming from an area with terrorism ties and a majority of governors, all but one a Republican, insist Syrian refugees are not welcome because some could pose a security threat". "We do not believe these goals are mutually exclusive".

In a reference to the security debate, Wells said that 'refugees are the most thoroughly screened category of travellers to the United States'.

Alice Wells, the USA ambassador to Jordan, announced on Monday that a group of several hundred Syrian families leaving for new homes in Virginia and California will include the 10,000th Syrian refugee the US has accepted, meeting a goal set by President Barack Obama in 2015.

As of March, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had submitted more than 32,000 Syrians to the US for resettlement consideration. As such, he set a goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year.

The resettlement program focuses on the most vulnerable refugees, including those who were subjected to violence or torture or those who are sick.

Only a small percentage of Syrian refugees have been resettled to third countries.

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"Essentially what the Obama administration was able to do was to mobilize resources both within the intelligence community, within the Department of Homeland Security, to do things like deploy more officers to conduct interviews", Earnest said. The average review took more than a year and a half to complete.

The initiative got off to a slow start previous year, initially raising questions about whether the target could be met. But with routes northward now restricted, there's nowhere for them to go and, as smugglers resort to more unsafe practices, more migrants are dying en route.

Earlier this month, Pence appeared on 60 Minutes, bragging about suspending the Syrian refugee program, even though that didn't actually happen. Data also shows that 96 percent of the refugees are Muslim. They are the first to arrive.

Merkel said she was hopeful that European Union members would reach an agreement on outstanding questions arising from the migrant crisis, one of which is how to fairly distribute asylum seekers among all the bloc's 28 member states. "Good start, but I know our country can take in at least 10x more".

But she reiterated her stance that blocking refugees based on their religion was misguided. The United States has committed to work with the worldwide community to significantly increase humanitarian assistance funding, double the global number of refugees afforded opportunities for resettlement or other humanitarian admissions, and help empower refugees in countries of asylum. "We're going to have to keep discussing that".

For some, 10,000 is too many. The resistance came as authorities revealed that one of the suspects believed to be involved in the Paris terrorist attacks entered Europe among the current wave of Syrian refugees.

Weise told the weekly that his agency is planning for between 250,000 and 300,000 arrivals this year.

In December, Trump proposed a plan to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the USA, and most recently revised that plan to a temporary ban on "certain people" coming from countries with "tremendous terrorism". Berlin, which is a city-state, votes September 18.

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