The U.S. Has Resettled Only 11 Syrian Refugees In 2018

Women refugees attend a counselling session at a clinic near Mafraq in northern Jordan.DFID - UK Department for International Development Follow/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

The president's travel ban and "extreme vetting" have resulted in just 11 Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. in 2018.

As President Donald Trump continues to weigh his response to an alleged chemical attack on Syrian civilians, NPR reports that the United States has settled a mere 11 Syrian refugees thus far in 2018.

In 2016, near the end of Barack Obama's presidency, the U.S. resettled 15,479 Syrian refugees, according to State Department figures. In 2017, the country let in 3,024. So far this year, that number is just 11. By comparison, over the same 3 1/2-month period in 2016, the U.S. accepted 790.

"We are seeing the impact of the Trump administration's words and policy and actions," says Noah Gottschalk, senior policy adviser at Oxfam America. "That slams the door on refugees, and Syrian refugees in particular."

The total for this fiscal year -- from October 2017 -- is just 44.

Arrivals have also slowed because of additional vetting measures, as well as a series of executive orders temporarily barring travel from several Muslim-majority countries and suspending refugees admissions from around the world.

Trump administration officials have said that tougher vetting of visitors and refugees was needed because of national security concerns.

Though federal courts have ruled against certain aspects of Trump’s travel bans, others are still in place resulting in fewer refugees.

Not everyone in Trump’s administration is pleased with the current situation, however, including the president’s secretary of defense:

"I've seen refugees from Asia to Europe, Kosovo to Africa. I've never seen refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria. It's got to end," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday.

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