Readers of this blog are likely somewhat aware of the situation taking place in Europe right now as thousands of Syrian refugees are fleeing their country in the hopes of finding sanctuary in the European Union. Countries in the EU have been overwhelmed by refugees and migrants crossing borders without the proper authorization.
People have argued that the EU has been slow to develop plans for letting refugees enter countries safely and legally. However, recently they have started making plans to help redistribute refugees in EU countries. Similar changes are being made in the U.S. now that President Obama has announced that the U.S. will start taking in thousands more refugees in the coming fiscal year than we did this year.
Reports indicate that Obama has instructed his administration to increase acceptance of Syrian refugees to 10,000. This may not seem like a huge number compared to the number of people who are fleeing war-torn countries, but it is higher than the 1,293 Syrians who were taken in this year.
This isn't the first time the U.S. has increased the number of people taken in from certain countries. In past years, adjustments were made to allow more Vietnamese and Cuban refugees into the country. However, since 9/11 these efforts have dropped significantly due to security concerns and the fear that an influx of refugees presents a challenge in properly screening and doing background checks on everyone.
But White House officials have stated that there is no cause for concern. Refugees still have to go through the appropriate channels to come to the U.S. and must undergo rigorous medical and background checks conducted by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center.
What all this means is that thousands of people will be coming into the U.S. seeking safety in the coming months. And while the immigration process for refugees can differ from the process for people seeking employment in the U.S., for example, it is important to understand that legal complications can and do arise for people coming to the U.S. from other countries. Rather than face the complex immigration system alone, it can be wise for anyone navigating this process to work with an attorney.
Source: The New York Times, "Obama Increases Number of Syrian Refugees for U.S. Resettlement to 10,000," Gardiner Harris, David E. Sanger and David M. Herszenhorn, Sept. 10, 2015