Government Shutdown Affecting Refugees?

Who decides how many refugees will be resettled to the United States every year? (Don’t worry, this is not on the Citizenship Test.)
The answer? The President.

Each fiscal year the President determines how many refugees can be resettled to the United States due to humanitarian concerns around the world. This is called the Presidential Determination for the Refugee Admissions Program. President Obama recently signed the Presidential Determination for fiscal year 2014. The allocations are as follows:
Africa……………………… 15,000                  East Asia…………………….14,000

Europe and Central Asia…….1,000     Latin America/Caribbean…………5,000

Near East/South Asia………33,000      Unallocated Reserve…………….2,000

To read the full report from the Office of the Press Secretary, you can click here.

Who is considered a refugee? Who decides who is a refugee? Which refugees are eligible for U.S. resettlement?
Answers to questions like these can be found at the Cultural Orientation Resource Center (COR) by clicking here.

refugee_camp

A refugee camp in a conflict area in Africa

Are refugees affected by the recent government shutdown?
Answer? Yes.

While refugees already in the United States are affected by the government shutdown as much as you and I are on a daily basis, refugees worldwide, specifically refugees who were to be resettled to the United States in October, feel a bigger impact.
The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), a bureau within the United States Department of State, has issued a refugee travel moratorium until October 28 as it is unclear if federally-funded services and benefits will be available for arriving refugees. According to the Association of Refugee Health Coordinators (ARHC), the PRM is working to “identify cases currently booked for arrival prior to October 21 with serious security/protection concerns; urgent medical needs; and all cases of unaccompanied minors in order to evaluate if they should arrive prior to October 21.” All agencies involved are working to ensure immediate needs are met during these uncertain times.
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Martin Luther
At the Refugee and Immigration Center we hope for a quick resolution in Washington, D.C. so we can continue to welcome new Americans to Sioux Falls.

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