Detroit Free Press: Peters wants more Syrian refugees resettled in U.S.

Democratic U.S. senator joins colleagues asking White House to increase numbers accepted into U.S. from war-torn Middle East.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday asking that the U.S. accept no fewer than 100,000 refugees fleeing bloodshed from Syria and Iraq in the coming years, including 30,000 during the next fiscal year.

In his letter to President Barack Obama, Peters, D-Mich., urged the resettlement of Syrian refugees as well as of persecuted religious minority refugees from both Syria and Iraq. The Obama administration had previously set a goal of resettling 85,000 refugees in the next fiscal year, including at least 10,000 Syrian refugees.

“The world has been moved by the plight of refugees who have undertaken life-threatening journeys to escape violence and persecution,” Peters wrote. “These are people who would prefer to remain at home in peace, but are unfortunately compelled to flee in hopes of achieving basic security for their family.”

Peters’ letter comes at a time when concerns over the resettlement of refugees are increasing and Democrats are asking the Obama administration to welcome even more from war-torn Syria. Earlier this month, U.S. Reps. John Conyers of Detroit, Debbie Dingell of Dearborn, Dan Kildee of Flint Township and Sander Levin of Royal Oak were among some 70 members of the House calling for the U.S. to admit 200,000 global refugees, including 100,000 Syrian refugees, in 2016.

This month, Peters and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., met with officials in Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In addition to discussing military operations against ISIS, they also visited a refugee camp in Jordan

By:  Todd Spangler
Source: Detroit Free Press