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Kerry: US to take up to 85,000 refugees next year

Greg Nash

Secretary of State John Kerry pledged Sunday that the United States will take in as many as 85,000 refugees in the next fiscal year as Syrians continue to flee violence and strife.

Obama administration officials had originally planned to take in up to 70,000 refugees from around the world next year. In 2017, that number will increase again to 100,000, Kerry told reporters in Berlin.

{mosads}Not all of the additional refugees will come from Syria, though many will. Others will come from areas in Africa that are experiencing similar conflict, The Associated Press reported.

“We’re doing what we know we can manage immediately,” Kerry said, adding that he “would like to take more,” but security and screening restrictions put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks put limits on the United States’s capacity to process migrants.

“This step is in keeping with America’s best tradition as a land of second chances and a beacon of hope,” Kerry said following his meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, according to the AP. Germany has been the destination for many of the refugees.

Advocates for refugees have been calling in recent months for large countries to open their arms and take as many Syrians as they can handle.

Last week, a number of former Obama administration officials signed onto a letter urging the government to pledge to take 100,000.

Tags John Kerry Refugee crisis
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