-- The White House hopes to take in 110,000 refugees from around the world in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, a senior administration official said today.
The new goal is a 30 percent increase from this year's directive of 85,000 refugees. Secretary of State John Kerry briefed Congress on the new goal Tuesday, the official said. In 2015, Kerry said the U.S. would seek to admit 100,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017.
The decision comes amid renewed concern over the refugee crisis in Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
The move "is consistent with our belief that all countries should do more to help the world’s most vulnerable people," the official said.
The U.S. has admitted 77,388 refugees as of Sept. 13., according to the State Department.
"We are confident that we will welcome 85,000 refugees from around the world by the end of this fiscal year," a State Department representative said.
Last month Kerry announced the U.S. met its 2016 fiscal year goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees. The administration has yet to determine targets for specific countries for the coming year.
The refugee crisis has become a hot topic in the presidential campaign. When the administration announced its plan to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said the U.S. should accept 65,000 refugees from Syria. Last year Donald Trump suggested temporarily barring Muslim immigrants from the U.S.