NC in Top 10 states for placement of Syrian refugees

DURHAM (WTVD) -- The United States admitted the 10,000th Syrian refugee in 2016 this week according to the White House.

It's part of a federal resettlement program, created by President Obama last fall, to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year.

North Carolina has 467 resettled Syrian refugees, making it the state with the ninth-highest total, according to statistics from the US Department of State's Refugee Processing Center. There are 10,005 nationwide.

Syrian refugee arrivals from Jan 1, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016

The number of Syrian refugee arrivals per state from January 1, 2016 through August 31, 2016.

A look through the data shows the majority of Syrian refugee arrivals in North Carolina and the United States have arrived in 2016 alone.

For perspective, here's a look at how many Syrian refugees have resettled in the United States since January 2012.

Syrian refugee arrivals from Jan. 1, 2012 - Aug. 31, 2016

The number of Syrian refugee arrivals per state from January 1, 2012 through August 31, 2016.

Church World Service in Durham is one of several non-profits dedicated to resettling immigrants who have been granted refugee status. According to the organization, it has helped 244 refugees this year, 68 of whom are Syrian.

Ellen Andrews, the director of the local non-profit chapter, said the Raleigh-Durham area has received an influx of Syrian refugees because the area has a good capacity to serve them.

WATCH: Ellen Andrews explains the Refugee Resettlement Program and Church World Service of Durham's role.
EMBED More News Videos

Ellen Andrews on the refugee resettlement program.

"We know that Raleigh-Durham is an open, welcoming, friendly community," Andrews said. "We have good access to medical care through the Duke and UNC hospital systems, the public education systems are good.

"There's the capacity already here to serve Arabic-speaking refugees. We've been serving Iraqi refugees for a long time."

WATCH: Andrews says Syrian refugees are looking for opportunity.
EMBED More News Videos

Ellen Andrews says refugees are looking for opportunities to better their lives.

Andrews said she wants people to understand that not all immigrants hold the same status when it comes to national security, and that the process someone must go to gain "refugee" status is a lengthy and arduous one.

"When somebody flees their home country because of war, or violence, persecution or civil unrest, they first meet with the UN, who determines if they're e refugee or not," she said. "If their claimed refugee status is valid, if they can't return home or they can't be integrated into the country that they've fled to, the UN will work with other countries to identify resettlement options.

"It's really important to keep reminding folks that the resettlement program is a secure program, she added. "It's very, very, difficult to pass all of the screening measures in order to be admitted to the US as a refugee."

WATCH: Andrews explains the distinction behind the refugee immigration status.
EMBED More News Videos

Ellen Andrews explains the distinction behind the refugee immigration status.

RELATED: McCrory says NC will cease to accept Syrian refugees

RELATED: NC Sheriffs support McCrory's Syrian refugee decision

RELATED: Popular Raleigh restaurant has a message of tolerance

Report a Typo
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.