President Barack Obama is authorizing up to $70 million for to meet the “unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.”
The presidential determination, citing the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, comes as the administration plans to take in about 10,000 Syrian refugees, but the funding authorization is not specific to Syrian refugees.
The determination said:
It is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the act, in an amount not to exceed $70 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund, for the purpose of meeting unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, through contributions and other assistance to international and nongovernmental organizations funded through the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State.
The determination goes on to say that, due to an “unprecedented number” if migrants and refugees who need to be resettled, “funds will be used by the Department of State to meet the unexpected urgent need for additional resources within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.”
The admission of Syrian refugees is highly controversial. A recent study found that the United Nations screening system is sorely lacking, while in Germany, some of the refugees were charged with assaulting women during New Year’s Eve celebrations in the country.
The White House did not immediately respond to inquiries from TheBlaze for more details.
Obama spoke by phone Wednesday to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Syrian civil war, which is largely responsible for the refugee crisis, was one of the main topics. Putin wants to keep Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in place, while the Obama administration wants to see him go.
The White House readout of the Obama-Putin call said the leaders “noted the necessity of taking steps to foster productive discussions between representatives of the Syrian opposition and regime under United Nations auspices, principally by reducing violence and addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, especially those living in besieged and hard to reach communities.”