During a discussion of the Syrian crisis, which started more than two and half years ago, US Republican and Democratic Senators demanded on Tuesday that the US allow more Syrian refugees into the country.
Out of the approximately 2.3 million Syrian refugees, the US has only provided 31 with refuge during the last fiscal year, which ended in October 2013.
One week ahead of a donors’ conference scheduled to be held in Kuwait to discuss the issue of Syrian refugees, Richard Durbin, who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee on human rights, argued that the US has “an ethical obligation” to assist in solving the crisis.
Donors will mainly discuss the situation in the countries surrounding Syria, which endure the heaviest burdens caused by the large numbers of Syrian refugees pouring into their territories.
Durbin described the situation as “the worst humanitarian crisis and the worst refugee crisis since the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.” He added that, “Maybe the worst since WWII.”
Until this moment, 135,000 Syrians have applied for asylum itt n the US, but severe restrictions imposed on immigration, especially counterterrorism measures, have undermined the attempts of nearly all the Syrians seeking refuge in America.
Meanwhile, the US has contributed $1.3 billion towards humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees.
The assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, Anne Richard, noted: “We’ve seen a country lose about 35 years of development. In a sense it’s the suicide of Syria.”
The top Republican Senator in the subcommittee on human rights, Ted Cruz, expressed particular worries about the plight of Christian refugees. He called for Washington to consider their situation as officials are discussing how to deal with the increasing demand for more visas.