2 Syrian refugees taken in by US in Jan. It was 1,318 same time last year

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 2, 2018

A Syrian refugee holds a baby in a refugee camp set in the town of Harmanli, south-east of Sofia on November 12, 2013

One has to wonder about the state of mind of the two Syrian refugees taken in by the US since January 1, 2018.

Just imagine. They are the only two Syrians who’ve been given refuge by the US so far, this year.

That’s down from the 1,318 Syrian refugees accepted by the US in January 2017, according to State Department figures.

What happened?

Syrian refugees are not in favour in the US any more. There is a freeze on applicants from 11 “high-risk” nations, of which Syria is one.

As David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, a refugee aid organization, says: “America’s claim of providing haven from persecution is not just under question but under threat.”

Still, the US has taken in two Syrians.

Of all their harried countrymen and women, these two individuals are the only ones who’ve been accepted by the US in the 31 days of this year. Imagine that. On them lies the weight of representing their community, that of a people stricken by conflict and demonised by the far-right in the US and Europe. It’s a big job. An unenviable one.