Crown Heights

Clarke calls for U.S. to welcome more Syrian refugees

September 30, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke says America has a responsibility to take in Syrian refugees. Photo courtesy of Clarke’s office
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In response to an announcement by the Obama Administration that the U.S. will increase the number of refugees allowed to resettle here in America, U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke said the nation should also step up and accept more people who are fleeing the violence in Syria.

The Obama Administration recently announced that the number of refugees from all nations that the U.S. will accept will rise from 70,000 a year to 100,000 a year.

Clarke said that while it’s commendable that the U.S. is willing to take in more refugees from all over the world, the nation should also increase the number of Syrians being allowed in.

“The current instability in Syria has displaced more than 4 million people, yet only 1,400 Syrian refugees have been allowed to resettle in the United States. The many refugees who have risked death by attempting to travel in the desert without supplies or by sea on inadequate boats demonstrate the seriousness of their situation,” Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) said in a statement. These individuals are desperate. We have a responsibility to help.” 

Clarke, along with 71 of her House colleagues, has urged President Obama to increase the annual number of refugees from all countries who are allowed to resettle in the United States to 130,000.

“But we must continue in our efforts to provide assistance to the millions of people who are now at risk, as a result of persecution based on their religion, their race or nation of origin, or their political beliefs,” Clarke said. “The values we share as a civil society include the basic principle that the rights of every person are entitled to respect. We have the opportunity to act on that principle by welcoming families and children who want to escape the fear of persecution based on their identity or their beliefs.”

The explosive situation in the Middle East was also the subject of a statement issued by another Brooklyn lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Daniel Donovan, who reflected on the speech delivered by Pope Francis in Congress on Thursday.

“As violence continues to grip the Middle East, I hope the Pope offers guidance on addressing Christian genocide at the hands of ISIS and its affiliates,” Donovan (R-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) said. “That such brutal persecution persists in our time should weigh heavy on our collective conscience.” 

In March, a United Nations human rights report indicated that ISIS very likely committed crimes against humanity by targeting Christians and other sects in Iraq, Donovan said.

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