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U.S. Refugee Admissions Barbara Day, Chief, Domestic Resettlement

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Refugee Admissions Barbara Day, Chief, Domestic Resettlement"— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Refugee Admissions Barbara Day, Chief, Domestic Resettlement
Office of Refugee Admissions Presentation for North Carolina State Refugee Conference August 20, 2013

2 Somali Bantu at IOM-run transit center in Nairobi, bound for U.S.
The US Refugee Admissions Program offers resettlement in the United States to persons overseas who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution based on one of the five statutory grounds. Somali Bantu at IOM-run transit center in Nairobi, bound for U.S.

3 Key Takeaways The USRAP is a successful public-private partnership involving multiple USG agencies, IOs, NGOs, state/local governments, communities, private citizens, and other stakeholders. This worldwide program operates in countries, includes nationalities, and resettles in 49 states and DC. The U.S. resettles more refugees than all other 27 resettlement countries combined. The program needs to be re-authorized by the President every year, giving Congress a key role in its design. UNHCR plays a key role in referring refugees for resettlement, but there are other ways that applicants are referred for consideration. While the domestic component of the program is focused on self-sufficiency and early employment, the U.S. does not select individuals for those reasons.

4 USRAP is a small component of immigration to U.S.
In recent years, total legal immigration has been ~1,000,000 persons/year Most (~900,000) are relatives of persons in the U.S. or had job offers from U.S. employers. Minority (~100,000) are granted asylum or admitted to the U.S. as refugees from first asylum locations or directly from country of origin. Refugee admission numbers rise and fall depending on need, volume of referrals, capacity to process. Since 1975, over 3 million refugees have been admitted Highest level – 207,000 in 1980 Lowest level – 20,000 in 1977 27,000 in 2002

5 Key Components of the USRAP
Identification of refugees who are eligible to be considered for U.S. admission Overseas processing, including USCIS adjudication, cultural orientation, medical screening, security background checks, and sponsorship assurances Transportation to the U.S. arranged by IOM Initial reception and placement in the U.S.

6 USG Partners Dept. of State: Develops policy and serves as overall manager of the USRAP. Responsible for initial support to refugees post-arrival. DHS/USCIS: Officers determine eligibility for admission. HHS/ORR: Administers cash, medical and social service programs through states and NGOs. Congress: Consulted on annual refugee admissions.

7 International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Manages Resettlement Support Center (RSCs) for Eurasia, Middle East/North Africa, South Asia, and Latin America Serves as panel physician and conducts overseas refugee medical exams in most locations Arranges for transportation to the United States

8 NGOs and Local Partners
Resettlement Support Centers (RSC): Under cooperative agreements with DOS/PRM. Assist applicants with pre-interview paperwork and post-interview procedures. RSCs operated by either NGO or IOM. Domestic NGOs: Under cooperative agreements with DOS/PRM. Provide initial reception and placement. State and Local Governments: Provide cash, medical, employment services, transportation, education through HHS/ORR funding.

9 Admissions-Focused PRM Refugee Coordinators
Vienna Amman Baghdad Kathmandu Havana Bangkok Bogota Red denotes assistance refcoords Yellow denotes admissions refcoords Kampala Nairobi

Nine RSCs are operated by an NGO, IOM, or in-house (Havana) They work under cooperative agreements with PRM with a single country focus (ie Cuba, Austria) or a regional basis. RSCs Interview applicants; take persecution claim and family information. Initiate security checks. Schedule and support USCIS adjudication teams. Provide pre-departure cultural orientation. Work with IOM to finalize travel to U.S. once all clearances are obtained.

11 Resettlement Support Centers
Eurasia IOM Austria- HIAS Turkey, Middle East- ICMC Middle East- IOM S. Asia- IOM Cuba- DOS S.E. Asia – IRC Africa - CWS L. America - IOM

12 How do we decide who gets to be resettled in the United States?
Ongoing consultations with NGOs, UNHCR, advocates, and Congress throughout the year inform our thinking. Each summer, PRM/A prepares a Report to Congress laying out proposed regional ceilings for refugee admissions which must be cleared by DHS, HHS, National Security Staff, and OMB. The Secretary of State presents the President’s proposal to Judiciary Committees in the House and Senate. (known as “Consultations”) The Presidential Determination is issued before refugees may arrive in the next fiscal year.

13 Consultation Process The President, in consultation with Congress, establishes the number of refugees by geographic region eligible for admission each fiscal year.

14 Europe and Central Asia
FY 2013 Program Region Ceiling for FY13 Primary populations Africa 12,000 (14,000) Somalis in Kenya and Ethiopia; Eritreans in Ethiopia, Congolese East Asia 17,000 Burmese in Thailand and Malaysia Europe and Central Asia 2,000 Religious minorities from the former Soviet Union Latin America 5,000 Cubans (many) and Colombians (few) N. East/ S. Asia 31,000 Iraqis, Bhutanese in Nepal, Iranian religious minorities Unallocated Reserve 3,000 (1,000) Available for use as needed for any region Total 70,000

15 How is a refugee admitted to the U.S.?
Access is granted by the Department of State upon receipt of a referral from UNHCR, a U.S. Embassy, or certain NGOs. In certain locations/programs, individuals submit applications. Case is prepared (“pre-screened”) by a PRM-funded Resettlement Support Center, security checks are launched. Case is adjudicated by DHS/USCIS officer in a face-to-face interview. Fingerprints are taken at interview. PRM and USCIS are responsible for certain security checks. If case is approved, RSC coordinates medical exam, CO, assurance; case is booked for travel by IOM.

16 USCIS RSC (Resettlement Support Center)
Group P-2 Referral Individual P-1 Referral Family Reunification P-3 RSC (Resettlement Support Center) Security Checks: CLASS/ SAO / IAC1 USCIS Interview & Fingerprints Denial Approval Medical Screening Cultural Orientation Request for Review Sponsorship Assurance R&P Services IAC2 Travel to U.S. (IOM)

17 Overseas Medical Screenings
Overseas screenings conducted mostly by IOM Screening is for excludable conditions (e.g., tuberculosis) New TB Technical Instructions are being phased in according to CDC guidelines Vaccination Pilot (CDC) Ethiopia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand Some arrivals in Spring 2013, most in Summer 2013 PRM and CDC, w/select state refugee health programs, will track sample of refugees to the domestic final destination to: confirm receipt/seek feedback re: documentation from med providers confirm that refugees did not require revaccination post arrival; or if refugees were revaccinated post arrival, provide feedback to IOM

18 Reception and Placement (R&P) Program A public-private partnership
R&P is a program administered by PRM to help refugees with their initial resettlement in the U.S. PRM partners with nine national resettlement agencies to help place refugees throughout the U.S. PRM provides a portion of the funding necessary to fulfill the R&P requirements. ($1,875 per capita) Agencies provide refugees with basic necessities and core services during their initial resettlement period of 30 to 90 days. The goal of the U.S. refugee program is economic self-sufficiency as soon as possible after arrival.

19 Domestic Resettlement Agencies
Church World Service (CWS) – 36 affiliates Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) – 33 affiliates Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) – 17 affiliates Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) – 30 affiliates International Rescue Committee (IRC) – 21 affiliates Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) – 58 affiliates United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – 113 affiliates U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) – 33 affiliates World Relief (WR) – 22 affiliates

20 Top Ten Resettlement Cities FY 2012
San Diego Atlanta Dallas/Fort Worth Detroit Houston Phoenix Minneapolis/St Paul Seattle Chicago Denver

21 Determining Resettlement Capacity
Each fiscal year, the national resettlement agencies work in partnership with their local affiliates to assess the number and types of refugees each affiliate can resettle in the upcoming year. The affiliates engage in consultations with many relevant state and community partners to arrive at the proposed capacity.

22 Stakeholders The affiliates work in partnership with the following stakeholders help assess local resettlement capacity: 1) The State Refugee Coordinator 2) The State Refugee Health Coordinator 3) Local Health Providers 4) Employment and Social Service Providers 5) Public Schools 6) Employers 7) Others

23 The R&P Proposal Process
Local affiliates prepare abstracts National resettlement agencies submit R&P proposals Proposal review panel evaluates each proposal Additional stakeholders (SRCs and ORR) offer feedback to PRM PRM makes final determination

24 The Allocations Process
Each week the national agencies meet to select cases that are ready for sponsorship assurance. It is a system that strives to be equitable in the distribution of cases.

25 Allocations Pools Non U.S. Tie / Non U.S. Tie Medical Pool
Cases with no ties to persons in the U.S. or who do not wish to join friends and family in the U.S. U.S. Tie Pool Cases with a friend or relative in the US Cases must include complete address OR phone number, city and state Predestined Pool Cases with an AOR M3 and M4 Cases (Unaccompanied Minors) Rainbow Pool Cases with competing agencies connections

26 Deciding Where a Case Will Go
What do Resettlement Agencies take into account? Language capacity Case composition Housing Employment statistics Medical services Ethnic communities YTD arrivals projection/totals Cash assistance rates Special considerations (minors, elderly, single mother, etc.)

27 R&P Flow Chart Assistance with access to benefits and services
I. Pre-Arrival Preparation Allocation Refugee is assigned to one of nine resettlement agencies. Placement Assurance The assigned agency ensures they have the capacity to serve the case in a specific city. Housing set up Caseworkers prepare housing, furniture, and food for arrival. II. Post Arrival Services (Arrival ~ 90 Days) Assistance with access to benefits and services Caseworkers assist refugees with access to services such as medical services and food stamps. Provision of basic needs and core services The affiliate is responsible for ensuring that the refugee has food, medical care, and other needs met. Case management Caseworkers pick refugees up at the airport and visit refugees in their homes. III. R&P Complete Refugee is in safe, stable environment. Refugee can navigate appropriate and relevant systems Refugee is connected to means of ongoing support for self/family Refugee understands surroundings and situation

28 Domestic Cultural Orientation Required Topics
The Role of the Local Resettlement Agency Budgeting and Personal Finance Refugee Status Housing English Hygiene Public Assistance Safety U.S. Laws Cultural Adjustment Your New Community Education Employment Transportation Health

29 R&P Monitoring Monitor whether affiliate provided R&P services and whether refugee met R&P outcomes PRM monitors ~60 local affiliates per year (each affiliate is monitored at least every five years) Resettlement agencies monitor at least every three years

30 Domestic Resettlement Challenges 2013
Uneven community support for resettlement Affordable housing Employment Increasing number of cases with serious medical needs requiring additional services Greater proportion of cases with US ties limits placement flexibility HHS/ORR budget challenges impact programs for refugees

31 2013 Overseas Initiatives Restore Iraqi arrivals to FY09/10 levels
Expand resettlement of Congolese refugees Re-launch P-3 family reunion program Implement new cultural orientation curriculum, outcomes and indicators Restart Darfuri resettlement from Chad Target funding to UNHCR to bolster capacity in Africa and maintain Emergency Transit Centers Launch pre-departure vaccinations in Thailand, Nepal, Malaysia, Kenya, and Ethiopia Issue rolling announcements of deadlines for Burmese in Thailand ESL pilots in Thailand, Nepal, Kenya (round two) Mentor Uruguay and Bulgaria in their resettlement programs More efficient use of UNHCR Emergency Transit Centers

32 2013 Domestic Initiatives Increase community outreach
Stronger collaboration with ORR Continue incremental growth in R&P per capita funding following doubling in 2010 ($1,875 in FY 2013) Establish floor funding for 60,000 arrivals Enhance sharing of refugee medical information prior to arrival Develop cultural orientation objectives and indicators, curriculum, assessment tools Make more information public

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