Homeland Security Chief Says 5,000 Syrians Approved for U.S.

  • Jeh Johnson tells senators goal to resettle 10,000 to be met
  • Trump says ‘tens of thousands’ will come, including terrorists

About 5,000 Syrian refugees have been approved for resettlement in the U.S., Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, with another 5,000 to 6,000 on the way if they pass security checks.

That would meet President Barack Obama’s pledge to resettle 10,000 Syrians who are refugees from the civil war in their country by the end of the year, up from 2,000 last year, Johnson told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Johnson was asked about the resettlement effort by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who is among Democrats who have said the vetting process for admitting Syrian refugees on humanitarian grounds has gone too slowly. But Republicans have largely criticized the administration’s policy toward refugees, citing the possibility that Islamic State terrorists may slip into the country.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has campaigned on barring Muslim immigrants from the U.S. at least temporarily, said Wednesday on Fox News that “they are letting tens of thousands of people come in from Syria, and nobody knows who these people are.”

“A lot of these people are ISIS,” Trump said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

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