Kerry: US to Accept 85,000 Refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017

Sen. Grassley Complains Some Might Be Terrorists

Secretary of State John Kerry today announced that the administration intends to significantly increase the number of refugees allowed into America in 2016 and 2017, bringing the number up from a planned 70,000 a year to 85,000 in 2016, and 100,000 in 2017.

Of course the current administration will be out of office by 2017, which means that whether this actually happens depends largely on if the incoming president decides to keep the policy in place. There has been significant scaremongering over the “danger” posed by the refugees in recent days, a narrative that most analysts agree is “overblown.”

Still, opponents are looking to make poltiical hay out of today’s announcement, with Senate Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley (R – IA) condemning the plan, saying that some of the incoming refugees might conceivably be ISIS or other terrorists.

Though the announcement inevitably centers on the growing Syrian refugee crisis, the figures actually refer to worldwide refugees accepted, not simply those from Syria and Iraq. Indeed, the “vetting” process to get refugees admitted to the US appears to be quite onerous for refugees from ISIS-held territory, and that’s making even getting the promised 10,000 Syrian refugees into the US difficult.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of