Of the 10,801 Syrian refugees that have been allowed into the U.S. since 2011, only 56—less than one half of a percent—are Christians. Yet Christians constitute 10 percent of Syria’s total population and have been subject to disproportionate abuse in the ongoing civil war. This statistic suggests, in the words of one expert, “de-facto discrimination and a gross injustice.” The likely reason is that refugees are referred by administrators of UN refugee camps in Jordan, but there are no Christians in those camps because those who come in are persecuted and flee at the first opportunity. Elliott Abrams comments:
The solution would be to allow Christians, and other religious minorities, to apply for refugee status directly—and not through the UN. Senator Tom Cotton has introduced legislation doing just that. . . .
Is [it] an overstatement [to say] that the United States “bars” Christian refugees from Syria? Sure, in that we do not and could not legally ban Christian refugees any more than we could or should bar Muslim refugees. But when you have been running a refugee program for years, and you have accepted 10,612 Sunni refugees and 56 Christians, and it is obvious why and obvious how to fix it, and nothing is done to fix it, well, the results speak more loudly than speeches, laws, intentions, or excuses. In effect we make it almost impossible for Christian refugees to get here.