WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In September, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year. Despite millions of Syrians fleeing their homes, the United States accepted fewer than 1,000 over the past year, according to the State Department.
"Responding to the Syrian refugee crisis presents an historic challenge for European countries that must be shared by the United States," Senator Jeanne Shaheen said in a Wednesday press release.
Shaheen led a group of four senators to Greece, where they were briefed by Greek and German government officials on the front-lines of the refugee crisis.
The meetings in Europe "reinforce… the need for the United States to expedite its efforts to process and accept Syrian refugees," Shaheen stated.
Senator Dick Durbin reported that despite the United States providing financial assistance, he and other members of the Senate "will continue to push for the United States to resettle more refugees as the crisis grows."
In recent months, several EU states — Germany, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia — have responded to the surge in Syrian migrants by imposing new strict controls on internal borders and sealed external borders. While Greece has accepted refugees, it has funneled most of them to Macedonia and Serbia.