The United States is a home and a place of resettlement for many refugees all around the world. Over the past years, the population of refugees in the U.S. has continued to increase; With the U.S. offering more refuge to individuals than other nations. However, during the Trump administration the maximum population of refugees that can enter the country has slowly decreased. The US government has imposed new security procedures on accommodating refugees that resulted in lengthy wait times and has left many refugees in unfavorable situations.
In 2019, the admission of refugees in the United States was 30,000 a downgrade from the previous number of 45,000 in 2018. Since the US imposed the new security programs, refugees now have to pass the new US security screenings in order to be eligible for resettlement. Individual eligibility for refugees is partly determined by various interviews conducted by the officers of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Among other criteria. this is the process used in the screenings of the US refugee program:
- The first priority are the individuals who are experiencing persecution, these individuals are referred to the US by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)
- The second are groups with “special concerns” that are selected by the Department of State.
- Third are the family/relatives (parents, spouse, or unmarried children under 21) of refugees who are settled in the US.
Each individual group must undergo a strict interview process to ensure that these individuals meet the requirement of a “refugee” in their group. Resettlement is made impartially regardless of the refugees’s religion, country, or circumstance; each “refugees” must show that they have a well-founded profound fear of returning to their home country”, and the refugee must not be “firmly resettled” in any other country. (Source American Immigration Council, 2020)
Unlike the Obama administration, over half of the refugees who now seek for refuge under the Trump’s administration have drastically fluctuate; In 2017, an executive order was signed by the president, the order indicates the suspension of the refugee admission program for 120 days; furthermore, Syrian refugees were also suspended from entering the country indefinitely and decided to also lower the refugee admission from 110,000 (from the Obama administration) to 55,000, and continued to fluctuate on the following years. (Source American Immigration Council, 2020) The United States continues to be a home and a place of resettlement for many refugees all around the world, will that continue to be the case in the years to come under this administration?