15,479 Syrian Refugees Have Been Admitted This Year

Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, December 29, 2016

In its last full month in office, the Obama administration has admitted 1,307 more Syrian refugees—pushing the 2016 calendar year total to 15,479, a 606.1 percent increase from the numbers resettled in the U.S. in 2015.

Of the 15,479 Syrian refugees admitted by the end of Thursday:

–15,302 (98.8 percent) are Muslims—15,134 Sunnis, 29 Shi’a, and 139 other Muslims

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–3,904 (25.2 percent) are males between the ages of 14 and 50

–3,521 (22.7 percent) are females aged 14-50

–7,428 (47.9 percent) are children under 14, of whom 3,824 are boys and 3,604 are girls.

Last year’s intake of Syrian refugees was considerably smaller—2,192 in total—although the religious ratio was similarly skewed: 2,149 Muslims (98 percent) and 31 Christians (1.4 percent).

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The administration has determined that atrocities against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) in areas under its control amount to genocide.

At the same time, however, it has rejected calls by Republican lawmakers and others to prioritize vulnerable religious minorities among refugee applicants. President Obama said that would amount to a “religious test.”

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On the other hand, Christians comprised some 10 percent of the Syrian population in early 2011, but only account for 0.8 percent of the refugees resettled in 2016; and for just 1.03 percent of the total number of Syrian refugees taken in since the beginning of the civil war (187 out of 18,026).

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