Using the current "refugee crisis" in Europe as an excuse, Secretary of State John Kerry said the number will increase to 100,000 per year. The change will take effect in 2017.
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Under the new plan, the U.S. limit on annual refugee visas would be increased to 85,000 in 2016. The cap would then rise to 100,000 the following year.
The response still falls far short of the global demand for resettlement from those fleeing the Syrian war, turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan and other conflicts. From Syria alone, 4 million people are in United Nations refugee camps outside the country, and hundreds of thousands of people from that region and Africa have been pouring into Europe.
The Obama administration has been under pressure to accept more Syrian refugees, and Mr. Kerry said that the United States would explore ways to increase the limit beyond 100,000, while carrying out background checks to ensure that the refugees have not been infiltrated by terrorists.
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