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U.S. will meet Syrian refugees goal, Homeland Security head says

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says he believes the government will meet its goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees this year.

Johnson tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that approximately 5,000 refugees have been approved for settlement, and an additional 5,000 to 6,000 have been conditionally approved, pending security checks.

The Obama administration decided last year to sharply increase the number of Syrian refugees taken into the United States. That decision was hotly opposed by congressional Republicans who warned that it could let terrorists into the country.

The House passed legislation in the wake of the Paris attacks last fall to increase screening of Syrian refugees, but the Senate didn’t follow suit.

Syria’s civil war has produced a refugee crisis.