- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2016

Over the last 10 years, the U.S. has accepted a tiny fraction of the amount of foreign migrants other countries have granted asylum.

According to new data released by the Refugee Processing Center (RPC), the U.S. has granted permanent residence to just 678,000 refugee since 2005. Last year alone, Germany granted asylum to 1.1 million migrants.

The new data emerges as a slew of Republican lawmakers call for tighter restrictions on refugees entering the country. GOP front-runner Donald Trump famously called for a ban on all Muslim migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., and dozens of state governors have vowed not to allow Syrian migrants in to their country.



But according to the data, first reviewed by Vocativ, Syrians make up one of the smallest groups of refugees being allowed in to the country, with just 2,600 receiving refugee status over the last 10 years.

It is estimated that the 5-year-long civil war in Syria has displaced roughly 4 million people, creating one of the biggest migrant crisis in modern history. In September, President Obama vowed to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, but nearly six months later, the U.S. has only accepted just over 800, according to Vocativ.

The largest group of refugees actually hails from Burma, according to the data. Between 2002 and 2011, roughly 88,384 Burmese migrants were admitted to the U.S., according to a report by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. Most were minorities fleeing government persecution.

The second largest group of immigrants hail from Iraq. More than 120,000 Iraqis were registered in the U.S. between 2005 and 2013, according to the RPC. Most were resettled in Michigan and California.

The third-biggest group came from Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan country. More than 85,800 Bhutanese people were formally resettled to the U.S. from 2005-2013, according to RPC.

California absorbed the bulk of the immigrants, with about 11.3 percent of refugees resettling in the golden state over the last decade. Texas came in second with 9.7 percent, followed by New York with 5.8 percent and Florida with 5.4 percent, mostly from Cuba.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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