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Refugees come to the United States through several legal channels, and this post will focus on only the Refugee Resettlement Program. The Refugee Resettlement Program has its own issues, and is a high-profile element of our immigration policy. We have discussed this before at Ricochet, and it is time for an update. I am posting here to provide some background on Refugee Resettlement, to specifically discuss refugees from Syria, to comment on the program under the Obama Administration, and to document that @JamesOfEngland owes me a beer the next time we cross paths at a meetup.
The Refugee Resettlement Program brought 572,924 refugees to the United States during the Obama Administration (Feb 2, 2009 through Feb 1, 2017). In recent discussions, religion was an issue, so here are some highlights:
- 196,900 were Christians (34%)
- 160,622 were Muslims (28%)
- 47,679 were Hindu (8.3%)
- 38,781 were Buddhist (6.8%)
- 8,381 were categorized as “no religion” (1.5%)
- 249 were Atheist
The Refugee Resettlement Program is operated by the State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. They provide an on-line database, which is the source of the numbers above. Links are in the comments.