Rebuilding the U.S. Refugee Program for the 21st Century

Silva Mathema and Sofia Carratala
Date of Publication: 
October, 2020
Source Organization: 
Center for American Progress

This research is informed by in-depth interviews with experts who have worked for decades in the refugee resettlement field and have extensive knowledge of its history as well as its day-to-day operations. This report suggests five main principles to follow when overhauling the resettlement system. First, agencies should think beyond the federal model and include more community groups in the resettlement process. Second, reforms should be made to stabilize annual refugee flows so that these numbers are independent of changes in administration and thereby allow resettlement agencies to better plan ahead. Third, the program should bring the focus back to the integration of refugees along with achieving economic self-sufficiency. Fourth, agencies should strive to raise awareness about the program to build public support among communities and policymakers. And finally, all stakeholders must be involved in the rebuilding process so that agencies and others affected by the program have a say on how to rebuild it.

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Mathema, S. & Carratala, S.  (2020, October 26). Rebuilding the U.S. Refugee Program for the 21st Century. Center for American Progress.