US eases immigration laws to accept more Syrian refugees

February 06, 2014
Visareporter - US immigration laws
US President Barack Obama administration has said that it had relaxed some immigration laws to allow millions of Syrian asylum seekers, who are forced from their homes during the civil war. Human Rights welcome this decision to allow Syrian refugees to relocate in the United States.

Past month, Sen. Dick Durbin, asked the Obama administration to address the concerns of Syrian refugees that was caused by civil war and change the immigration policy. Out of the estimated 2.3 million of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt only 31 Syrian refugees were allowed in the fiscal year that ended in the month of October.

Publishing a Joint notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the U.S. government announced that Syrian refugees would be exempted from two provisions of U.S. immigration law. And innocent refugees who provided support to the armed opposition forces and groups will be accepted to enter the country.

Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a Human Rights Subcommittee, who primarily requested the exemptions in the immigration law, said these exemptions in the U.S. immigration law will address the concerns of the Syrian refugees who are caught in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. At the moment it was not clear as to how many Syrians would be affected by the change of rules.

Present US immigration law would prevent a Syrian person who sold a sandwich or gave a cigarette to a member of Free Syrian Army from entering the Unites States and getting refugee status, a source from Durbin’s office said.

1,35,000 Syrian asylum seekers had applied by early January to enter the United States. But the strict immigration laws prevented them from entering the country.

US $1.3 billion humanitarian assistance has been provided to aid Syrian refugees. In this year, United Nations is also trying to relocate 30,000 Syrian refugees. Human Rights have asked the administration that at least 15,000 Syrian refugees per annum must be permitted to enter the US. 

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