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Settlement of Syrian Refugees in the U.S. Accelerates

After a slow start, the influx of Syrians to the U.S. has accelerated in recent months and annual arrivals are likely to reach 10,000 by the end of September, the amount promised by the Obama administration.

Last year, the U.S. pledged to resettle 85,000 refugees from all over the world in the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, including at least 10,000 Syrian refugees.

By March 31, halfway through the fiscal year, only 1,285 Syrians had arrived, according to official data. By June 30, the Syrian number had jumped to 5,211. Overall refugee admissions had reached 49,791.

Among Syrians admitted this year, 20% are adult men, 20% are adult women and 60% are children. The vast majority of the men are in a family unit, said a State Department spokesman.

The deployment of additional staff and resources in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq has enabled both the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review more applications and complete more security checks in recent months, he said.

For instance, between February and April, Homeland Security officers in Amman, Jordan, interviewed about 12,000 individuals referred by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.

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