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November 10, 2015

WSJ Video: The Long Path to Protection for Syrian Refugees

By Megdi Abebe

A new Wall Street Journal video outlines the steps and procedures Syrian refugees face on the path to protection in the United States. While highlighting the process, viewers come to understand how long and tedious the process can be. Refugees must undergo intensive biometric registration with the United Nations, personalized interviews with Homeland Security, and extensive FBI-conducted background checks. Refugees from the Syrian conflict could be waiting any time from a couple weeks to a couple of years for this process to be completely finished.

According to the United Nations, 7.6 million people are currently displaced in Syria and need immediate humanitarian assistance, and over 4 million have fled due to conflict and persecution. The U.N. global humanitarian appeal for Syrian refugees is only 40 percent funded, and food assistance has been cut. Without meaningful access to resettlement in other safe countries, many are turning to more dangerous routes to reach places of safety where they can rebuild their lives. So far, the United States has committed to increase its overall refugee resettlement for refugees from all countries for the year only by 15,000, and has committed only to resettle “at least 10,000” Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016. Human Rights First continues to urge the Obama Administration to lead a global effort to address the situation, including increasing the overall refugee ceiling to 200,000 to support a commitment to resettle at least 100,000 Syrian refugees during the next fiscal year.