US President Donald Trump stated on Friday, January 27 that Syrian Christian refugees will be dealt with on priority basis if they apply for refugee status in the United States of America. “If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians,” President Donald Trump said.
There are reports of six Syrians including Christians being turned away from Philadelphia International Airport in the United States. These Syrians were sent back to Lebanon, international media reports. “Six people, including Syrian Christians, were turned back at Philadelphia airport on Saturday and were back in Beirut on Sunday,” an official in Lebanon was quoted. The Lebanese official detailed that there were three children were among those who were turned away at Philadelphia.
United States Commission for International Religious Freedom in its report on Syria stated: “More than five years of conflict has led to a devastating humanitarian crisis. The death toll is significantly greater than 250,000 according to most sources. As of January 2016, more than 4.7 million Syrians were registered with UNHCR as refugees in neighboring countries, more than 6.5 million were internally displaced, and over 140,000 children had been born stateless. Such large numbers of refugees are straining resources and exacerbating sectarian tensions in neighboring countries.”
In addition to continuing to seek an end to the Syrian conflict, USCIRF urged the U.S. government to designate Syria a Country of Particular Concern stating that the U.S. government must: “Condemn the al-Assad regime’s brutal persecution of, and crimes of humanity against, Sunni Muslims and others, and urge other nations to do the same.
Commit to a goal of resettling 100,000 Syrian refugees to the United States, subject to proper vetting and a prioritization based on vulnerability, in order to aid those Syrians in the greatest peril, demonstrate U.S. leadership in efforts to address this extraordinary humanitarian crisis, and show support for governments in the Middle East and Europe that are hosting millions of Syrian refugees.