Obama says the goal he set last year has been challenging, partly because of the need to assure the US public that refugees are being thoroughly checked out. He says processes are in place to speed up the resettlements.
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both called for blocking Muslims from being admitted to the US following terrorist attacks last year in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
Obama says accepting Syrian refugees is "the right thing to do" because they are victims of terrorism, violence and suffering caused by Syrian President Bashar Assad. Obama commented at a news conference with college reporters.