The United States President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to prepare to take in 10,000 Syrian asylum seekers next year, amid criticisms that the U.S. government has done little to help.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest

“The president has directed his team to scale up that number next year and he informed his team that he would like them to accept, at least make preparations to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

When asked that U.S. is a lot larger than Britain but why it chooses to take in so smaller a number of refugees, Earnest answered by saying that “What it reflects is a significant scaling up of the commitment on the part of the United States to accept more Syrian refugees into this country.”

“We know the scale of this problem, and it’s significant, there are millions of people who have been driven from their homes because of this violence. What we can do is make sure we are doing anything we can to try to provide for their basic needs. That is why the United States has continued to be the largest donor of humanitarian assistance,” Earnest said.

Syrian Refugee

Some members of Congress and refugee advocates said taking in 10,000 refugees is not enough.

There is a petition signed by 62,000 Americans calling for the Obama administration to accept 65,000 Syrian refugees next year.  Religious groups across the U.S want the government to shelter 100,000 Syrian refugees while Democratic Representative David Cicilline asked Obama to accommodate 65,000 migrants from Syria.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) criticized the U.S. response to the refugee crisis as “fumbling, feeble.”

IRC chief David Miliband said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that the U.S. should take 65,000 of Syrian refugees “to maintain its leadership position in refugee resettlement.”

Syrian Refugee

Asked by Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey about the danger of Islamic State group extremists infiltrating the Syrian refugees coming into the United States, Earnest said it’s a risk that the U.S. government needs to worry about.

“We need to verify we comprehend who is coming in on the grounds that there is a danger here,” the press Secretary Josh Earnest added.

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By: Jason E.