U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the large amounts of humanitarian aid the U.S. is sending to help Syrian refugees is not enough. During a conference call with reporters, the Illinois Democrat said people he met during a trip to the Greek island of Lesbos convinced him this country should take in 100,000 refugees from the conflict.
Durbin says in four years of the Syrian war the U.S. has so far taken about 2,000 refugees from that country even though the nation accepts 70,000 refugees a year in total.
Durbin says he is NOT calling for any shortcuts to the lengthy vetting process for refugees.
But, he says the U.S. has taken in more than 1.6 million refugees from Vietnam, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Somalia over the decades. He says this country should offer sanctuary again.
Durbin says the U.S. should meet its moral obligation in accepting Syrian refugees. He calls the situation the largest humanitarian crisis since the mass movement of displaced people after World War Two.
He says the island has a population of about 80,000, but has been severely strained by the movement of nearly half a million refugees moving through in their attempts to get to Europe.
Durbin also says he backs a supplemental appropriation bill for more humanitarian aid sent to help the Greek government deal with the refugees.