Roughly 250 Syrian refugees have arrived in California since 2012, with the large majority arriving this year, the latest federal statistics show.
About half of those refugees were resettled in either San Diego or Sacramento. Three large refugee aid agencies operate in Sacramento, which has welcomed tens of thousands of refugees in the last few decades, largely from the former Soviet Union or southeast Asia.
All refugees resettled in the United States are extensively screened, a process that can take two years.
Several U.S. governors have reacted to Friday’s deadly terror attacks in Paris by assailing President Barack Obama’s plan to have the U.S. absorb 10,000 Syrian war refugees over the course of the next year. Breaking with other governors who have warned that admitting Syrian refugees would undermine American security, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday advocated preserving “America’s traditional role as a place of asylum” but stressed the need for thorough vetting.
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Syrians are not the most common refugees in California. Since 2012, the state has accepted far more refugees from Iraq, Iran, Burma, Afghanistan and Somalia than from Syria. The U.S. has taken only a sliver of the Syrian refugees that have resettled in the last year. That could change somewhat next year as more Syrian refugees arrive under Obama's plan.
About 11 percent of Syrian refugees resettled in America since 2012 came to California; the state’s 39 million residents account for about 12 percent of the nation’s population.
This map shows where in California Syrian refugees were resettled since 2012.
Source: US Department of State, Refugee Processing Center
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