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The United States has the largest refugee resettlement program in the world and has resettled over 3 million refugees since 1975. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) resettles and assists refugees in host communities nationwide through public-private partnerships between the U.S. government and 10 resettlement agencies. HIAS is one of these agencies and is the oldest resettlement organization in the world. This explainer provides an overview of how the USRAP admits, resettles, and integrates refugees in the United States, and the role refugee resettlement agencies like HIAS play in this program.
As of mid-2022, an estimated 20 million people were displaced in the Americas. The needs of this massive population are only growing and their migration, safety, and impact on communities in the region is becoming a priority for policymakers, especially in the United States. On April 27, 2023, the U.S. Departments of State (DOS) and Homeland Security (DHS) issued updated policies on migration management across the Western Hemisphere. These policies will be implemented in coordination with regional partners, including the governments of Mexico, Canada, Spain, Colombia, and Guatemala. They are meant to facilitate safe migration across the region, prevent unauthorized crossings and congestion at the U.S. southern border, and create more pathways for people to legally enter the United States and other countries. However, they also put more restrictions on and disqualify many people from accessing asylum; impose harsh consequences for irregular migration; could make access to legal representation more difficult; and may be challenging to implement due to increased staffing needs and existing case backlogs.This policy brief provides an analysis of these new policies, their pros and cons, and the implications and legal precedent they will set for asylum, complementary pathways, and migration management for the United States and other countries.
Ukraine has for many years been both a transit and destination country for people fleeing persecution and violence in other parts of the world. In 2021, approximately 5,000 asylum seekers and refugees were seeking refuge in Ukraine or in transit to the EU. This new report from Right to Protection (R2P) and HIAS finds that while these displaced people are heterogeneous, they share common vulnerabilities. Having already fled other conflicts or persecution, they do not have a safe home country to return to, may lack documents or even nationality, and are often denied consistent access to legal status due to serious shortcomings in Ukraine's asylum law and practice.
Thousands of non-Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers who fled Ukraine following Russia's invasion continue to face significant barriers to protection and integration across the European Union, according to new research from HIAS and its Ukrainian partner Right to Protection (R2P). The research finds that, while the EU and its member states have delivered commendable protection for Ukrainians forced to flee, third country nationals and stateless people have fallen through the cracks of the EU's asylum policy.
With more than 100 million forcibly displaced people around the world, an ongoing pandemic, and a war in Ukraine that has caused the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II, our work at HIAS in recent times has been both extremely difficult and urgently vital.Thanks to committed partners like you, we were able to open our arms in welcome, helping more than 1 million displaced people realize their rights and rebuild their lives in safety and freedom.Read through our 2021/2022 Impact Report to learn more about the essential work your support made possible.
Being a girl or an adolescent girl is no simple task in a time of multiple socialization demands to access the adult world. But being a migrant, displaced, or refugee girl or adolescent girl is even more complex, not only due to the difficulties stemming from sociocultural and economic standards, but also due to the uprooting that girls and adolescent girls are subjected to when they are forced to leave their country of origin. This report produced jointly by HIAS and UNICEF highlights the main needs and challenges for girls and adolescent girls, including forms of violence they experience during their processes of migration and forced displacement.
The war in Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and one of the fastest large-scale displacements in history.The international community has provided an unprecedented level of support to people fleeing Ukraine, but despite this response, vulnerable populations are at risk.In this policy brief HIAS examines the serious protection risks that certain groups -- women and girls; unaccompanied and separated children; LGBTQ individuals; people with disabilities; and non-Ukrainian refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons -- are experiencing. HIAS recommends ways the EU, U.S., and UN agencies can address these gaps, including funding local civil society organizations and increasing efforts to combat trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.
For years, the U.S. government allowed individuals applying for asylum to physically remain in the United States while their cases were adjudicated. However, in January 2019, the Trump administration introduced the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the "Remain in Mexico" program, which fundamentally changed this process by forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration court proceedings. This change has created incalculable suffering to asylum seekers along the border. Upholding the United States' commitment to a humane and compassionate asylum system demands not only the immediate cancelation of the program, but a detailed plan to repair the damage it has caused.The following recommendations outline actions the new administration should take before asylum seekers can enter the United States, how asylum seekers should enter the United States, and what procedures should occur after asylum seekers enter the United States to remedy the harm they suffered under the Trump administration's policies. The report also includes recommendations for longer-term actions to eliminate discriminatory asylum regulations and policies in the future.