U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley insisted the low number of Syrians being admitted to the U.S. is not due to the Trump administration’s revised immigration policies, but rather the refugees from the war-torn country disinterest in coming to America.
Since 2011, the Syrian civil war has left almost 5.6 million people seeking refuge; Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries have accommodated nearly 4.5 million Syrians while the United States has allowed only 44 refugees since October 2017.
Previously, former President Barack Obama had increased the number of refugee admissions from 70,000 to 110,000; however, the Trump administration brought the number down to its lowest in U.S. history to 45,000 for the fiscal year of 2018. Despite the numbers, Haley attributed the low admission of Syrian refugees to their decision of living close to their homeland, in order to “rebuild” it when the time comes.
“When I talk to the refugees, what I talk to them about [is] they want to go home. There is a mountain that they look over and know what’s on the other side and they know that Syria is in shambles and they’re prepared to rebuild it,” she said during an interview with Fox News.
“I personally went to the refugee sites in both Jordan and Turkey. I spent time with refugees whether they were in camps or whether they were out and I talked to them about the situation at hand. Not one of the many that I talked to ever said, ‘We want to go to America,’” the U.N. ambassador continued.
“They want to stay as close to Syria as they can so that when, God willing, this fighting stops and when there is finally stability and peace in that area, they want to go rejoin their family members. They want to go back to what they remember,” she added.
The statement by Haley comes a few days after the U.S. along with France and United Kingdom fired strikes at Syria in retaliation to the Assad Regime’s chemical attack on civilians.
President Donald Trump condemned the attack on Twitter before launching an attack on Syria. Critics claim the condemnation means nothing if the U.S. is not truly willing to help and accommodate innocent civilians from the heinous war crimes by Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad.
Syria headlines this week: 1) a functional end to acceptance of Syrian refugees; 2) more air strikes.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) April 14, 2018
If Trump really cared about the Syrian people, America wouldn't bomb them. We would rescue them.
The Trump administration claims they bombed Syria to help the Syrian people.— Mat Molina (@realMatMolina) April 14, 2018
The Trump administration also refuses to allow in Syrian refugees as we bomb their homeland.
This isn’t about the Syrian people. It’s about a President that’s desperate to change the topic.
Defense Secretary James Mattis: I have "never seen refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria. It’s got to end."— Vox (@voxdotcom) April 16, 2018
Trump administration: (has reduced Syrian refugee admissions to 1% of 2016 levels) https://t.co/1I5gec9Xfw
Mr. Trump: As you now profess deep concern for the women and children of Syria, demonstrate that by permitting them to enter the United States as refugees.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) April 15, 2018
The Syrian refugees’ “interest” in coming to America has only declined in the past year with nearly 16,000 Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. in 2016 and almost 3000 in 2017. The reason for the decline may not be the inclination to live near their war-torn country but more likely the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies including the infamous “Muslim ban” that mostly targeted refugees from Muslim-majority countries.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz