U.S. Refugee Policies
Do current U.S. refugee admissions match the crises?
October 16, 2015
1. If the past 40 years of U.S. refugee resettlement were averaged out, the United States would be accepting 75,000 refugees worldwide annually.
2. The U.S. “admissions ceiling” for annual refugees worldwide is currently at 70,000. The Obama Administration says it should be raised to 100,000, but the FY2016 proposal only includes 85,000 slots.
3. Of these, 40% (i.e., 34,000 or 1,000 more than last year) have been set aside for the “Near East” and “South Asia” combined.
4. “Near East / South Asia” represents a region encompassing more than half a dozen lengthy conflicts and long-term refugee crises – Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Nepal, etc. – as well as an even greater number of repressive regimes.
5. For comparison to the U.S. admission plan of 34,000 from the entire mega-region in 2015, hundreds of thousands of Syrians and tens of thousands of Afghans have entered Europe in 2015 so far.
6. Meanwhile, the U.S. has re-settled more than 81,000 ethnic Nepali citizens of Bhutan from longstanding refugee camps in Nepal since 2007. Any Bhutanese refugee who “expressed interest” in resettlement to the U.S. by June 2014 is still eligible.
7. By comparison, the U.S. government plans to increase the slots allocated to the mega-region “Europe / Central Asia” by 3,000 — to cover Afghans and Syrians who fled to the EU temporarily.
8. More than 200,000 people fleeing various crises entered Europe in 2015, seeking temporary or permanent shelter.
9. For comparison, in WWII’s aftermath, the United States admitted 400,000 refugees from Eastern Europe under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948.
10. Today, U.S. refugee resettlement programs draw in a wide range of people from a broad swath of the globe — but are slow to re-orient toward new and emerging crises and conflicts.
Sources: The Globalist Research Center, The U.S. Department of State, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security