WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. is trying to "add bandwidth" to its efforts to resettle Syrian refugees, the White House said Wednesday.
President Barack Obama has said the ramped-up effort need to be done "without taking any shortcuts on security," his spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Obama pledged last year to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of September, but so far only about 2,500 have been admitted. That has cast doubts on Washington's ability to meet the relatively modest goal.
Obama has spoken passionately about the need to take in those fleeing violence and persecution abroad amidst a continued refugee crisis, fueled largely by Syria's ongoing conflict.
But his efforts have been bogged down by bureaucratic security checks that are carried out across several U.S. agencies.
His efforts have been further complicated by the bluster of electoral politics, particularly by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
If Obama is unable to meet the goal, it could set the stage for a potentially embarrassing scenario when he hosts a summit on refugees on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September.