Hundreds of Americans signed an online petition Monday calling for the United States to accept more Syrian refugees and offering to take those fleeing the civil war into their homes.
In total, almost 1,100 people had signed the petition on the website MoveOn.org, which called on the U.S. to lift its limits on Syrian refugees who are fleeing chaos in their home country, where the conflict has entered its fourth year.
The violence has triggered an unprecedented wave of migration, largely into Europe, that the European Union is struggling to deal with. An estimated nine million people have fled the country since 2011, and over 340,000 have entered Europe so far this year.
The European Union has agreed to resettle hundreds of thousands of refugees. In August, Germany revised its estimate to account for a projected 800,000 refugees in the country, and France has agreed to take in 200,000 over the next five years. The two countries have pushed for binding refugee commitments for other E.U. nations, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel said represented a “sharing of duty … the principle of solidarity,” earlier this month.
The petition said that those signing included families, young couples, students and older couples, all of whom had extra room to offer to people who were fleeing violence in Syria.
“We've done our part to create a problem. Let's do our part to take responsibility for our actions,” Keb Buchanan wrote on the petition website.
U.S. officials have said that they are open to the possibility of resettling more refugees, going above its current commitment. "The administration is actively considering a range of approaches to be more responsive to the global refugee crisis, including with regard to refugee resettlement," National Security Council spokesman Peter Boogaard said Monday, according to USA Today.
This year, the federal ceiling for refugee intake is 70,000, out of which 2,000 are expected to come from Syria. A group of religious and charitable organizations, backed by 14 Democratic senators and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, are calling for the U.S. to take in 65,000 refugees from Syria alone next year.