World / US and Canada

US plans to increase refugee intake next year

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-09-10 09:14

WASHINGTON - The United States plans to raise the number of refugees it takes in by 5,000 next year to 75,000, including an unspecified number from Syria, senior US officials said on Wednesday, and congressional aides said the total may go significantly higher.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking to reporters at the Capitol, said Washington was "committed to" taking in more Syrian refugees fleeing war in their country.

A senior State Department official, speaking on a conference call with reporters later, said the United States had taken in about 70,000 refugees a year over the past three years and was planning on "some sort of a modest increase" next year.

Several US officials confirmed that Kerry told lawmakers that the government was planning on taking in an additional 5,000 refugees next year.

Congressional aides said administration officials had indicated that number could go significantly higher.

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