Vermont program prepares for Syrian refugees

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont refugee organization is responding to President Barack Obama’s call to bring an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S.

Amila Merdzanovic, the director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, tells Vermont Public Radio that she’d like to see 100,000 Syrian refugees come to the country — 10 times the president’s proposal. She said 10,000 is “just a drop in a huge sea.”

Merdzanovic says plans are being made by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to assist them.

Her organization typically resettles 300 to 350 refugees in Vermont every year. About 70,000 come to the U.S. annually.

Merdzanovic says it’s too early to tell how many Syrians might arrive in the state, but already she’s receiving offers of assistance.

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