Robust Refugee Programs Aid National Security

Elizabeth Neumann
Date of Publication: 
December, 2020
Source Organization: 
National Immigration Forum

In 2019, 79.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide, the highest level on record. As Elizabeth Neumann, senior advisor to the National Immigration Forum on national security, argues in “Robust Refugee Programs Aid National Security,” the growing number of forcibly displaced persons demonstrates the need to modernize the U.S. immigration system, and the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in particular, especially in light of national security interests. As Neumann posits, the U.S. has a history of offering refuge to people fleeing persecution, and, in turn, this moral and humanitarian leadership encourages other nations to welcome refugees. However, during the Trump administration the U.S. posture towards immigrants, refugees and asylees has threatened national security: by restricting immigration and drastically reducing the refugee ceiling, the burden of displaced persons is placed on developing countries (85 percent of forcibly displaced persons are hosted in developing regions, 27 percent in Least Developed Countries). This burden could destabilize host countries, make vulnerable migrants more susceptible to trafficking and create paths to radicalization. Neumann supports the Biden administration’s intent to increase the refugee ceiling and address the fundamental causes of forced displacement. She recommends further that the administration: 1) restore and strengthen the USRAP; 2) re-engage with international allies to address the plight of forcibly displaced populations, and 3) expedite processing time for forcibly displaced persons and invest in front-end procedures for Special Immigrant and P-2 visas. (Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute) 

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Neumann, E. (2020, December 17). Robust Refugee Programs Aid National Security. National Immigration Forum