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The Refugee Experience

Resettling in America

Laura Wonderlin

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of The Refugee Experience

Who are Refugees?
What is a Refugee
Resettlement in the USA
USCRI-Des Moines Numbers
USCRI-Des Moines opened in January 2011 to assist with US Tie Cases.
FY 2011: 147
FY 2012: 211
FY:2013: 310
Resettlement: In Pictures!
USCRI-Des Moines
The Refugee Experience
A refugee is a person who has been forced to flee his or her country because of
A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
There are 15 million Refugee and Asylum seekers worldwide
80 percent are women and children
Since 1975, the US has resettled 3 million refugees.
Only 1 percent of refugees will be resettled in third countries. The United States will welcome over half of these people.
Iowa has a long history of resettlement dating back to the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s and the opening of the Bureau for Refugee Services
The proposed ceiling for refugee admission in the US in 2013 is 70,000 individuals, most coming from South Asia.
via UNHCR, World Refugee Survey (USCRI)
There are 11 VOLAGS who are certified in refugee resettlement
The Reception and Placement Program helps refugees for 30-90 days after their arrival.
Each refugee is give $925 for resettlement. This helps with:
medical needs
school supplies
We rely heavily on donation from community members to help with furnishing apartments.
USCRI National Numbers 2008FY-2010FY (32 agencies)
Iraq 5,808
Burma 5,274
Bhutan 3,701
Cuba 1,747
Somalia 1,031
Iran 649
Burundi 495
Eritrea 495
FY2011: 7,152 individuals
Who We Serve
Iraqis from: Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Turkey, Syria, Jordan
Burmese from: Burma, Malaysia and Thailand
Bhutanese from: Nepal
Somalis from: Kenya, Egypt
Resettlement Fun Facts!
Refugees take out an interest-free loan from the US government to come to the US. They are expected to repay that loan starting six months after their arrival.
Refugee are eligible for Food Stamps, Cash Assistance, Medicaid and Social Security immediately upon arrival.
In Iowa, refugees are given eight months of RMA (Refugee Medical Assistance). Once their Medicaid runs out, there are other programs they can be eligible for.
Overseas Resettlement Process
Assigned a status
P1 - Individuals
P2 - A group
P3 - Reunification with anchor in US
SIV Visa, Visa 93
5 background check/security clearances
If approved for refugee status, IOM works with processing centers to arrange medical screenings
IOM arranges travel. USCRI is notified when client is ready to travel
Our Year in Numbers (2013)
+800 children received representation from the pro bono network
492 victims of trafficking from 40 countries began reclaiming their lives
7,176 refugees settled in the USA
95 languages spoken by refugees who fled 37 countries
4,965 refugees attained employment

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