WOODLAND PARK - New Jersey has taken in almost as many Syrian refugees in the past month as it did in 2014 and 2015 combined, a report by The Record newspaper finds.
An analysis by the newspaper found that 194 refugees have been settled in New Jersey since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1. While 24 were settled in New Jersey in the first two quarters of the fiscal year, 90 arrived from April through June and 80 came since July 1.
Some 76 of the 80 recent arrivals went to Elizabeth and Jersey City.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the increase is the result of a "surge" of employees from the State and Homeland Security departments volunteering to work in refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan. Johnson says it's not a reduction in the vetting process.
The Obama administration says it’s likely that it will hit its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States before the end of September.
State Department totals show that 2,340 Syrian refugees arrived last month in the United States.
That's more than the amount during the entire seven months after President Barack Obama directed his team to prepare for 10,000 admissions from the war-torn country. Records show that total admissions for the current budget year now come to about 7,900, and the vast majority are Sunni Muslims.
If the current pace holds, the president's target should be reached shortly before Obama heads to the United Nations to urge world leaders to admit more refugees and to increase funding for relief organizations.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.