Of the more than 5 million refugees to leave Syria since 2011, only a tiny proportion of them,about 1%, have ended up in the United States and Canada.
And in 2018, the slow tide of Syrian refugees coming to the US has been reduced to nothing more than a trickle.
To be more specific, just 11 Syrians have been resettled in the US this year, according to State Department numbers.
This number represents a drastic reduction from last year, when the US admitted 3,024 Syrian refugees in total, including 790 by mid-April, NPR reports. At the current rate, the US is on pace to admit fewer than 40 Syrian refugees over the course of the entire year.
Under former US President Barack Obama, the US admitted more than 15,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 alone.
On Sunday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggested that these low numbers reflect the fact that Syrian refugees don’t want to come to the US — and not the other way around.
“Not one of the many [Syrians] that I talked to ever said we want to go to America,” Haley told Fox News. “They want to stay as close to Syria as they can.”
Haley praised US foreign aid in Syria, saying that “from a humanitarian standpoint, the US has been a massive donor to this situation.”
But as civilians continue to die, the US has turned instead to military action targeted at the Syrian government.
Over the weekend, the United States, in coordination with France and the UK, launched a joint bombing campaign targeted at Syrian research, storage and military operations, The New York Times reports. This came after a suspected chemical attack killed an estimated 70 people in the region of Douma earlier this month.
“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” Trump said in a statement.
For civilians caught in the crossfire, options for escaping the bombings are limited. According to Middle East Eye, many of the civilians living in Douma have been displaced internally — and are currently living in refugee camps in the northern Syrian city of Idlib.
Since 2011, more than 1 million Syrian refugees have resettled in Europe, according to Pew Research Center. They haven’t just come from Douma, but also from Damascus and Aleppo, two other cities that seen some of the worst fighting between the Syrian government, led by President Bashar Al-Assad, and opposition forces.
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and reduced inequalities is goal number 10. This calls for the “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people.” You can join us and call on the world leaders to adopt Global Compacts for Refugees and Migrants here.