FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2020
IRAP PUBLISHES BLUEPRINT FOR EXPANDING COMPLEMENTARY PATHWAYS FOR REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PEOPLE
(New York, NY) – During his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden promised to increase the number of refugees to be admitted to 125,000 and to work with Congress towards a minimum threshold of 95,000 each fiscal year. While these are important steps towards rebuilding the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), the need for safe resettlement is greater than ever and cannot be adequately addressed by these changes alone.
“The refugee program may take some time to rebuild, but the thousands of refugees who have already been waiting in limbo for years don’t have any more time,” said IRAP’s Executive Director, Becca Heller. “The new administration should make efforts on Day One to put programs in place that reunite families and protect those in danger. This will also help rebuild our international reputation and trust in our commitment to protect the most vulnerable.”
In a newly published report, “Expanding Complementary Pathways for Refugees and Displaced Persons: A Blueprint for the U.S. Government”, IRAP lays out comprehensively the multiple ways in which the incoming administration could address hurdles in existing pathways, as well as expand and pilot new programs, to bring displaced people to safety.
The report is divided into six sections representing different avenues for resettlement in the United States that are or could be made available to refugees: family reunification, humanitarian parole, Special Immigrant Visas, private sponsorship, labor pathways, and education. Each section is followed by detailed recommendations for improving or implementing such programs.
From the report: “The primary purpose of USRAP is to serve as a humanitarian program for the relocation of vulnerable refugees. The importance of accessible non-USRAP pathways for family reunification is amplified by the need to maintain USRAP ‘slots’ for vulnerable populations.… Most importantly, complementary pathways such as family reunification must be in addition to, not instead of, traditional resettlement avenues for vulnerable refugees.”
To download the report, “Expanding Complementary Pathways for Refugees and Displaced Persons: A Blueprint for the U.S. Government”, click here.
To view the press release, click here.