Update February 4th: The PR push is on, Think Progress (Soros and Podesta) showcase another Syrian who got into the US, here.
Update: The New York Times did a feature story on this family a month ago. The well-connected savvy Muslim Syrian family is not what you picture as destitute, struggling refugees. They knew how to work the system!
And, NJ Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson is pushing for Obama to increase the 70,000 refugee goal for FY2014 by another 15,000 for Syrians.
From North Jersey.com (Hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):
PATERSON – When the onslaught of bombs grew too close to home, Abdulrazak Chacha and his family fled Aleppo, Syria, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their passports.
They spent 45 days in Lebanon, trying without success to get to the United States where they had once lived and where they had relatives. Then they went to Cuba where they had planned a vacation and sought help at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, which accepted them as refugees after one year of screening.
Chacha, with his wife and four children, are among 108 Syrian refugees to have been resettled in the United States since the conflict began nearly three years ago, according to the State Department. Now, Syrian-Americans, some public officials and human-rights agencies are calling for the U.S. to take in more refugees from Syria, where war has led to one of the largest civilian exoduses in recent history.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, met with family members Thursday to hear their story and to show support. He called for the United States to increase the number of refugees accepted for resettlement to at least 15,000 this year and to expedite the approval process. [By the way, it is my understanding that Obama does not need Congressional approval to expand the number in an ’emergency’, but if any reader knows otherwise, let us know!—ed]
“We’re not taking in refugees as we should,” said Pascrell, who wrote to President Obama on Jan. 16, asking that more Syrian refugees be allowed in.
Primary reason for the hold-up? Security concerns!
Syrian refugees have faced roadblocks getting into the U.S. for a number of reasons, including security concerns, ongoing diplomatic efforts and the rapid escalation of war. The Obama administration agreed to take about 2,000 refugees in 2014, according to news reports.