The U.S. should accept at least 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016, acceding to Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley. The former Maryland governor says President Obama’s move to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees next year is no more than “a token increase.”
In a letter to Obama Tuesday, O’Malley expressed disappointment at the levels the administration is moving to welcome.
“The images from Europe this month reminded the world that more than four million Syrians have been made refugees. Many governments are responding admirably by significantly increasing their refugee quotas to match the depth of the crisis,” O’Malley wrote.
“I appreciate your administration’s attention to this issue, but I was disappointed to learn that the United States would accept only 10,000 Syrian refugees next year,” he added.
This year the U.S. is slated to accept 1,800 Syrian refugees, despite security and fiscal concerns raised by some Republicans. The Obama administration’s move to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees represents a dramatic increase.
O’Malley, however, argued that the increase is not nearly enough.
“Certainly we can do more. Our credibility as a leader of nations requires that we do more. And the principles of our country demand that we do more,” he wrote.
“As a former governor, I am aware of the precautions that must be taken to protect our homeland.” he concluded. “But our country is large enough and compassionate enough to welcome 65,000 Syrian refugees by 2017, and I encourage you to do everything in your power to respond appropriately to this moral imperative.”
A recent YouGov poll released this week revealed that just 26 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should admit more Syrian refugees.