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Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees

Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees
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A group of 27 Democratic senators on Wednesday called on President Obama to fulfill his commitment to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. by October. 

The lawmakers say the administration has so far only admitted 1,736 Syrian refugees, out of the 10,000 pledged.  

"To fulfill the commitment you announced last year, at least 8,264 Syrian refugees would need to be admitted during the remaining five months of the fiscal year," said the group, led by Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin opposes Saudi arms sale over missing journalist Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight MORE (Ill.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharIs there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas Clusters of polio-like illness in the US not a cause for panic MORE (Minn.), in a letter to the president.  

"We would appreciate an update on specific measures your Administration plans to take to fulfill its stated commitment to resettle the additional Syrian refugees by the end of September 2016," they added. 

The State Department launched a surge operation in Amman, Jordan, earlier this year to increase the pace of interviews of potential refugees. 

Staff interviewed about 12,000 refugee applicants between February and April, a department spokesperson told The Hill earlier this month. 

"Not all of the applicants approved by [the Department of Homeland Security] during the February-April period will be admitted to the United States in FY 2016. Some will be admitted in FY 2017," the spokesperson, who requested anonymity, said.

The plan's critics argue it could endanger U.S. national security, allowing terrorists to sneak through. 

But supporters of the president's plan point out that other nations have taken many times more refugees fleeing the five-year-old Syrian civil war that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and more than 4.8 millions displaced. 

The issue of Syrian refugees has roiled the 2016 presidential campaign, with GOP candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE standing by his call to temporarily ban Muslim immigrants to the U.S. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump attacks ‘Crazy Bernie’ Sanders over Medicare plans Overnight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Overnight Energy: Trump administration doubles down on climate skepticism | Suspended EPA health official hits back | Military bases could host coal, gas exports MORE (I-Vt.) is a signatory of the letter. 

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