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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration > Refugee Admissions and Resettlement > Releases > Reports > 2002
Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY 2003 -- Report to the Congress  
Released by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
September 2002

Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY 2003 -- Report to the Congress

Submitted on Behalf of the President of the United States to the Committees on the Judiciary, United States Senate, and United States House of Representatives, in Fulfillment of the Requirements of Section 207(e) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Department of State
Department of Justice
and
Department of Health and Human Services

September 2002

FY 2003 Report to the Congress

This Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2003: Report to the Congress is submitted in compliance with Section 207(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Act requires that before the start of the fiscal year and, to the extent possible, at least two weeks prior to consultations on refugee admissions, members of the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives be provided with the following information:

(l) A description of the nature of the refugee situation;

(2) A description of the number and allocation of the refugees to be admitted and an analysis of conditions within the countries from which they came;

(3) A description of the plans for their movement and resettlement and the estimated cost of their movement and resettlement;

(4) An analysis of the anticipated social, economic, and demographic impact of their admission to the United States1;

(5) A description of the extent to which other countries will admit and assist in the resettlement of such refugees;

(6) An analysis of the impact of the participation of the United States in the resettlement of such refugees on the foreign policy interests of the United States; and

(7) Such additional information as may be appropriate or requested by such members.

___________
1
Detailed discussion of the anticipated social and economic impact, including secondary migration, of the admission of refugees to the United States is being provided in the Report to the Congress of the Refugee Resettlement Program, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of Health and Human Services. 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD
I.     OVERVIEW OF U.S. REFUGEE POLICY

II.    REFUGEE ADMISSIONS PROGRAM FOR FY 2003

A.    Proposed Ceilings
B.    Admissions Procedures
1.     Eligibility Criteria
2.     The Worldwide Priority System for FY 2003 
               a) Priority 1
               b) Priority 2
               c) Priority 3
3.     INS Refugee Adjudications
               a) INS Overseas Operations
               b) Case Presentation to INS
               c) The Eligibility Determination
               d) Additional Case Processing
4.     Processing Activities of the Department of State
               a) Overseas Processing Services
               b) Cultural Orientation
               c) Transportation
               d) Reception and Placement

III.   REGIONAL PROGRAMS

A.    Africa
1.  Religious Freedom in Africa
2.  Voluntary Repatriation in Africa
3.  Resettlement or Local Integration of Refugees within Africa
4.  Third-country Resettlement outside the Region
5.  FY 2002 Admissions from Africa
6.  FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in Africa
7.  Possible Future Groups/Programs

B.    East Asia
1. Religious Freedom in East Asia
2. Voluntary Repatriation in East Asia
3. Resettlement or Local Integration of Refugees within East Asia
 4. Third-country Resettlement outside the Region
5. FY 2002 Admissions from East Asia
 6.  FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in East Asia
7.  Possible Future Groups/Programs

C.     Europe
1.      Former Soviet Union and Baltic States 
              a) Religious Freedom in the FSU
              b) Third-Country Resettlement outside the Region
              c) FY 2002 Admissions from the FSU
              d) FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in the FSU
              e) Possible Future Groups/Programs

2.      Southeastern Europe
               a) Religious Persecution in Southeastern Europe
               b) Voluntary Repatriation to Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia
               c) Resettlement or Local Integration in Europe
               d) Third-Country Resettlement outside the Region
               e) FY 2002 Admissions from Southeastern Europe
               f) FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in Southeastern Europe

D.   Latin America and the Caribbean
1. Religious Freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean
2. Resettlement or Local Integration within Latin America and the Caribbean
3. Third-country Resettlement outside the Region
4. FY 2002 Admissions from Latin America and the Caribbean
5. FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in Latin America and the Caribbean

E. Near East and South Asia
1. Religious Freedom in the Near East and South Asia
2. Voluntary Repatriation in the Near East and South Asia
3. Resettlement or Local Integration within the Near East and South Asia
4. Third-country Resettlement outside the Region
5. FY 2002 Admissions from the Near East and South Asia
6. FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in the Near East and South Asia
7. Possible Future Groups/Programs

F. Unallocated Reserve

IV. DOMESTIC IMPACT OF REFUGEE ADMISSIONS

LIST OF TABLES

Table I -- Refugee Admissions in FY 2001 and FY 2002 Projections, and Proposed Ceilings in FY 2003
Table II --  Median Age and Sex of Refugee Arrivals, FY 2001
Table III -- Select Age Categories of Refugee Arrivals, FY 2001
Table IV -- Refugee Arrivals by State of Initial Resettlement, FY 2001
Table V -- Refugee Arrivals by Country of Origin, FY 2001
Table VI -- Estimated Costs of Refugee Processing, Movement, and Resettlement
Table VII --  CY 2001 UNHCR Resettlement Referrals by Resettlement Country

FOREWORD

The annual Congressional consultations on refugee admissions provide an opportunity for the Administration to brief the Congress on the domestic and international implications of U.S. refugee policy and the need for admissions in the coming year. This document includes the Administration's recommended refugee admissions strategy reflecting extensive consultations with our domestic and overseas refugee program partners. It provides detailed narrative and statistical information about the program and the proposed refugee admissions ceilings by region for FY 2003.

Each year, the U.S. refugee admissions program offers freedom and safety to tens of thousands of refugees. FY 2002, however, has been the most challenging year since the founding of the current U.S. refugee admissions program. We anticipate arrivals of fewer than 30,000 refugees by the end of the fiscal year -- fewer than half the authorized ceiling for the year. In the aftermath of September 11 and with the onset of the Global War on Terrorism, we have implemented enhanced security measures that considerably lengthened refugee processing time and significantly interrupted admissions. There were problems in implementing new background check requirements on refugees and other migrants by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Concerns regarding security for U.S. government personnel in the months following September 11 resulted in a several month hiatus in Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) interviews worldwide and suspension of processing in some locations altogether. For certain nationality groups, having a close relative in the United States may afford access to an interview for U.S. refugee status. INS adopted new security procedures to verify the claimed relationships and discovered fraud or misrepresentation in the claimed family relationships in some 40% of the approved family reunion cases, resulting in disqualification of thousands of individuals we had counted in our proposed ceiling for the year. Fraud and corruption concerns in the referral programs of UNHCR have had a negative impact on thousands of potential arrivals. As a result of all of these factors, the lives of thousands of refugee applicants have been dramatically affected.

The Department of State, INS, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have collaborated in an extraordinary effort to meet these unprecedented challenges. INS has added adjudicators, contract staff at ports of entry, and new fingerprinting equipment to speed the admission of arriving refugees, reduce backlogs, and increase the integrity of the refugee admissions program. The State Department has provided the funding to sustain the existing operating capacity of our program partners domestically and overseas and to increase security in a variety of locations, from Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya to Moscow. The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have worked to improve the administration of the increasingly complex background requirements that national security now requires.

Positive developments throughout the world have had an impact as well. The ongoing repatriation of millions of Afghans has dramatically transformed the prospects for thousands of people who once would have been considered for resettlement in the United States. In Sierra Leone, tens of thousands of refugees are now returning home. The stabilization of life in the Balkans has led to a decline in the need for continued resettlement there.

In last year's Report to Congress, the Administration proposed incremental growth in the program beginning in FY 2003, subject to availability of funds and maintenance of program integrity. The extraordinary events of the past year have taken us in the opposite direction. The global security environment for processing has changed dramatically; homeland security concerns have become paramount. While the Administration continues to strongly support a generous and healthy refugee admissions program, we must first recover from the setbacks of FY 2002 before we can grow the program.

In the coming year, the Administration will continue to take the necessary steps to restore the admissions program. We will:

    • Continue to collaborate with our voluntary agency partners and UNHCR to identify new populations for processing;
    • Send officers overseas to explore, and where feasible, develop these caseloads into a healthy processing pipeline;
    • Continue the worldwide deployment of our new, fully automated admissions tracking system that will further strengthen processing capacity and security;
    • Provide significant additional resources to UNHCR to enhance its resettlement referral capacity throughout the world;
    • Develop a voluntary agency referral mechanism to engage organizations providing assistance to refugees overseas in this important endeavor; and
    • Examine the possibility of expanding family reunification-based access to the refugee program if appropriate safeguards can be established.

Finally, as a result of this year's process of reviewing the characteristics and circumstances of refugee populations around the globe, it has become clear that many persons of concern cannot meet U.S. statutory requirements for refugee admission. The current refugee definition is rooted in the 1951 Refugee Convention and requires that applicants establish persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of one of five grounds (race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion). This standard, developed in the Cold War era, precludes eligibility for hundreds of thousands of individuals in compelling humanitarian circumstances who did not directly experience persecution or whose fears are not based on one of the five protected grounds. Many of these individuals fled civil disorder or generalized violence and remain in precarious situations without obvious durable solutions. We are already engaged in a review of existing statutory requirements for U.S. refugee admission with a goal of ensuring access to those most in need of humanitarian protection and may need to consider the possibility of legislative changes.

As we look to restore the U.S. admissions program to the growth pattern we anticipated before September 11, we cannot approach FY 2003 with significantly higher numbers as a goal. We will be limited by the challenge of successfully streamlining new security requirements, the need to restore integrity to the program, and the continuing need to identify new refugee populations that are readily accessible and statutorily eligible for admission to the United States. We must also remain mindful that there are substantial unmet needs around the world in the provision of life-sustaining humanitarian assistance to refugees. The Administration proposes a ceiling of 70,000 for FY 2003, cognizant of the fact that our current projected number of admissions -- based on identified caseload -- is 50,000. Assuming success with the initiatives cited above, it may well prove possible to increase admissions -- if not immediately in FY 2003 -- then in FY 2004 and beyond. The Administration also plans to use carry-over FY 2002 funds to support up to 70,000 admissions and to strengthen UNHCR resettlement capacity, develop caseload, and fund ongoing processing and security upgrades. The following report lays out how the Administration proposes to work toward measured, sustainable growth in numbers and restoring the admissions program to where we want it to be.

This document is intended to initiate the Congressional consultation process set out in Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and to elicit responses from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and others interested in refugee policies and programs. After receiving the views of Congress, the President will determine refugee admissions levels and allocations for FY 2003.

I.   OVERVIEW OF U.S. REFUGEE POLICY

Resettlement in third countries, including the U.S., is considered for refugees in urgent need of protection as well as for those for whom other durable solutions are not feasible. In seeking durable solutions for refugees, the U.S. gives priority to the safe voluntary return of refugees to their homelands. This policy, recognized in the Refugee Act of 1980, is also the preference of the international community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). If safe voluntary repatriation is not feasible, other durable solutions are sought, including resettlement in countries of asylum within the region and in third countries.

According to UNHCR, at the end of 2001 there were some 12 million refugees in the world. Under the authority in the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, the U.S. contributes to the programs of UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and other international and non-governmental organizations that provide relief and assistance to refugees. During FY 2002, the U.S. has supported major relief and repatriation programs throughout the world. Our assistance attempts to address immediate protection needs of refugees as well as to ensure that basic needs for water, sanitation, food, health care, shelter and education are met. The U.S. continues to press for the most effective use of international resources directed to the urgent needs of refugees and internally displaced persons.

For many years, the U.S. was one of ten countries that worked with UNHCR on a regular basis to provide resettlement opportunities for persons in need of this form of international protection or durable solution. In addition to the U.S., the other countries included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and six countries in Western Europe. The dramatic increase in asylum-seekers arriving in many of these countries, particularly via alien smuggling operations, has diminished the willingness of some countries to accept refugees through UNHCR referrals. At the same time, considerable effort has been expended in recent years to bring other countries into the resettlement "community." At present, some 18 countries express willingness to work with UNHCR in resettlement of refugees in need. While the overall number referred by UNHCR and the percentage resettled by various countries fluctuate from year to year, the U.S. is committed to accepting at least 50% of UNHCR referrals. In calendar year 2001, that percentage was 55% (see Table VII).

Based on U.S. law, the U.S. considers for admission as refugees persons of special humanitarian concern who can establish persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The legal basis of the refugee admissions program is the Refugee Act of 1980. With some modification, the Act largely adopted the definition of "refugee" contained in the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by its 1967 Protocol. The U.S. definition, which may be found in Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, is as follows:

"The term 'refugee' means: (A) any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, or (B) in such circumstances as the President after appropriate consultation (as defined in section 207 (e) of this Act) may specify, any person who is within the country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, within the country in which such person is habitually residing, and who is persecuted or who has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

The term 'refugee' does not include any person who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

For purposes of determinations under this Act, a person who has been forced to abort a pregnancy or to undergo involuntary sterilization, or who has been persecuted for failure or refusal to undergo such a procedure or for other resistance to a coercive population control program, shall be deemed to have been persecuted on account of political opinion, and a person who has a well-founded fear that he or she will be forced to undergo such a procedure or be subject to persecution for such failure, refusal or resistance shall be deemed to have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of political opinion."

The foreign policy interests of the U.S. have been advanced by our willingness to ease the burden on first asylum countries through resettlement. In some locations in Africa, for example, the prompt resettlement of politically sensitive cases has helped defuse regional tensions. During the past few years, U.S. resettlement efforts in the Middle East and the Balkans have helped energize efforts by UNHCR and other countries to ensure that this form of protection is accorded those in need and that first asylum is maintained for the larger population.

With regard to refugees resettled here, the U.S. Government promotes economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible, limiting the need for public assistance and encouraging refugees to contribute to the diversity and enrichment of our country. Federally funded programs administered by individual states and the District of Columbia provide cash and medical assistance, training programs, employment and other support services to arriving refugees. A variety of institutional providers perform these services, including the voluntary agencies that provide initial reception and placement services under cooperative agreements with the Department of State.

Even before the events of September 11, the context in which the U.S. refugee admissions program operates worldwide had changed dramatically, shifting from focusing primarily on large groups concentrated in single locations (refugees from Vietnam, the former Soviet Union and Bosnia) to reaching out to refugees of some 65 nationalities scattered in often remote locations. While we believe this diversified approach is consistent with the Refugee Act's intent that persons most in need of resettlement should benefit from the program, overseas processing efforts face numerous challenges. Deteriorating security conditions in refugee camps, the inadequacy of medical facilities required to conduct thorough medical screenings, and concern about integrity, including fraud and corruption, are but some of the issues confronting the program. On the domestic side, of those refugees now arriving, far fewer have close family members living in the U.S. who are available to provide support and facilitate the integration process. When combined with the significant linguistic diversity, wide-ranging educational/employment histories of the refugee population and the shortage of available affordable housing, resettlement agencies have had to adapt in order to meet the increasing demands of the program.

We are taking numerous steps to address these problems. Overseas, we have expanded the number of permanent processing locations by opening a refugee processing hub in Accra for West Africa and a processing facility in Damascus during FY 2001. We have engaged the services of IOM to assist with medical screening in locations lacking appropriate services and to move refugees in insecure locations to safe sites where resettlement processing and adjudication by INS can take place. INS has provided the leadership within the U.S. Government to aggressively address the problems identified in the family reunification program. Domestically, the Department of State has worked with the resettlement agencies to implement comprehensive standards of care for the Reception and Placement (R&P) program and increased funding to assist local affiliates providing improved services to refugees. Given the hiatus in refugee arrivals at the beginning of FY 2002 and the slow rate of admissions throughout most of the year, the Department of State also suspended the per capita funding arrangement negotiated in FY 2001 for the local affiliate offices and provided cost-based funding to ensure that nationwide resettlement capacity was maintained during this extraordinary year.

II.  REFUGEE ADMISSIONS PROGRAM FOR FY 2003

A.  Proposed Ceilings

Table I -- Refugee Admissions in FY 2001 and FY 2002
Proposed Ceilings in FY 2003
   

 

Region

FY 2001
Actual

FY 2002
Ceiling

FY 2002
Projection

Proposed
FY 2003
Ceiling

Africa

19,021

22,000

2,500

20,000

East Asia*

3,725

4,000

3,500

4,000

Europe
    Southeastern Europe

15,777

9,000

6,000

2,500

    Former Soviet Union

15,748

17,000

11,000

14,000

Latin America/Caribbean

2,973

3,000

2,000

2,500

Near East/South Asia

12,060

15,000

3,000

7,000

Unallocated Reserve**

--

--

--

20,000

Total

69,304

70,000

28,000

70,000

*  This figure includes Amerasians and their family members who enter as immigrants under a special statutory provision but receive the same benefits as refugees.
** The Unallocated Reserve is to be used if/where the need for additional numbers develops and only upon notification to the Congress.
 

In addition to the proposed ceiling, the President proposes to specify that special circumstances exist so that, for the purpose of admission under the limits established above and pursuant to section 101(a)(42)(B) of the INA, certain persons, if they otherwise qualify for admission, may be considered as refugees of special humanitarian concern to the U.S. although they are within their countries of nationality or habitual residence. Proposed for such in-country processing for FY 2003 are persons in Cuba, Vietnam, and the FSU.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) will also be authorized to adjust to the status of permanent resident alien 10,000 persons who have been granted asylum in the U.S. and have been in the U.S. for at least one year, pursuant to Section 209(b) of the INA.

B. Admissions Procedures

1. Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for refugee admission to the U.S. must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the definition of "refugee" contained in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act,
  • Be among those refugees determined by the President to be of special humanitarian concern to the United States,
  • Be otherwise admissible under United States law, and
  • Not be firmly resettled in any foreign country.

Although a refugee may meet the above criteria, the existence of the U.S. refugee admissions program does not create any entitlement for that person to be admitted to the U.S. The admissions program is a legal mechanism for admitting refugees who are among those classes of persons of particular interest to the U.S. Applicants who fall within the priorities established for the relevant nationality or region are presented to the INS for determination of eligibility for admission under Sections 101(a)(42) and 207 of the INA.

2. Worldwide Priority System for FY-2003

The worldwide processing priority system sets guidelines for the orderly management and processing of refugee applications for admission to the U.S. within the established annual regional ceilings. The issue of whether a person is a "refugee" under U.S. law and the priority that person may be assigned for consideration of his/her case are separate and distinct. Just as qualifying for refugee status does not confer a right to resettlement in the U.S., assignment to a particular priority does not entitle a person to admission to the U.S. as a refugee.

a)  Priority 1

Priority 1 (P-1) is reserved for compelling protection cases or refugees for whom no other durable solution exists who are referred to the program by UNHCR or a U.S. Embassy. Priority 1 is available to persons of any nationality. The U.S. historically resettles approximately 50% of all of UNHCR's resettlement referrals worldwide.

b)  Priority 2

This priority is used for groups of special humanitarian concern to the U.S. designated for resettlement processing. It includes specific groups (within certain nationalities) identified by the Department of State in consultation with NGO's, UNHCR, INS, and other experts. Some P-2 groups are processed in their country of origin.

P-2 In-country processing programs:

Former Soviet Union

This P-2 designation applies to individuals, including Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious activists identified in the Lautenberg Amendment, with close family in the United States.

Cuba

Included in this P-2 program are: former political prisoners, members of persecuted religious minorities, human rights activists, forced-labor conscripts, persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs or activities, and others who appear to have a credible claim that they will face persecution.

Vietnam

This P-2 designation covers the residual caseload resulting from the former Orderly Departure Program (ODP) and Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR), and the McCain amendment programs. It also includes Amerasian immigrants, whose numbers are counted in the refugee ceiling.

P-2 Groups of Humanitarian Concern:

The admissions program is now also processing several new P-2 groups and continues dynamically to develop new P-2 designations. Those currently being processed include:

-- Somali Bantus in Kenya
-- Baku Armenians in Russia
-- Iranian religious minorities, primarily in Austria

The Department of State anticipates adding other groups to this list during FY 2003. Among groups under consideration for possible P-2 designation are African long-stayers in Russia, mixed marriage cases in Mkugwa camp in Tanzania, Congolese in Angola, and Kuname Eritreans in Walanibhy Camp in Ethiopia.

c)  Priority 3

At present, Priority 3 (P-3) eligibility is extended to certain nationalities for spouses, unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of U.S. citizens and of persons lawfully admitted to the U.S. as permanent resident aliens, refugees, asylees, conditional residents, and certain parolees.

Nationalities eligible for P-3 processing during FY-2003:

-- Burundi
-- Congo (Brazzaville)
-- Congo (DROC)
-- Sudan

During FY 2003, the Administration will continue to explore a re-design of the family reunification component of the admissions program. We are investigating the plausibility of developing a more secure, more fraud resistant and more widely available family reunification priority that would replace the existing P-3 program. Some progress has already been made by INS to detect and deter relationship fraud. Consulting with voluntary agencies and the Congress, building on initial reform efforts and evaluating whether an expanded family-based program provides the most effective use of resources are all prerequisites to moving forward on this initiative.

3. INS Refugee Adjudications

Section 207 of the INA grants the Attorney General authority to admit, at his/her discretion, any refugee who is not firmly resettled in a third country, who is determined to be of special humanitarian concern, and who is admissible to the U.S. as an immigrant. This authority has been delegated to the INS. In overseas refugee processing, the INS has the statutory role of decision-maker, determining who meets the requirements for refugee status and is otherwise admissible to the U.S. under U.S. law.

a)  INS Overseas Operations

INS overseas offices are administered by District Offices in Bangkok, Mexico City, and Rome. One of their major responsibilities is refugee processing. The percentage of time each office devotes to this activity depends on its refugee caseload, as well as other workload priorities and the staffing pattern in the office. Overseas refugee staffing is augmented by temporary duty personnel from domestic asylum offices. During FY 2002, INS has also relied on a cadre of 60 District Adjudications Officers who received specialized refugee training to supplement overseas refugee adjudicators. Circuit rides to process refugees are arranged as needed by the INS overseas offices having geographic jurisdiction. INS relies upon Department of State Regional Security Officers overseas to assess the security environment at proposed circuit ride locations prior to committing to circuit ride travel.

b)  Case Presentation to INS

Refugee processing procedures prior to INS eligibility interviews vary. Some applicants are referred to the U.S. program by officials of U.S. Embassies or UNHCR (P-1 referrals). Other applicants are eligible to apply for the program directly. These include persons or groups identified under processing priorities as eligible for resettlement consideration (P-2 and P-3 categories). Generally, the Department of State arranges for an Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) to conduct pre-screening interviews and prepare cases for submission to INS. This involves completing the required forms and compiling other necessary documents.

c)  The Eligibility Determination

In order to be approved as a refugee, an applicant must establish that he or she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. An INS officer conducts a face-to-face interview of each applicant. The interview is non-adversarial and is designed to elicit information about the applicant's claim for refugee status. The officer asks questions about the reasons for the applicant's departure from the country of origin and problems or fears the applicant may have had or will have if returned to his/her home country. Conditions in the country of origin are taken into consideration, and the applicant's credibility is assessed.

INS refugee determinations are made according to a uniformly applied worldwide standard, but legislation has altered the refugee adjudication process in certain cases. The Lautenberg Amendment, enacted in 1989 and subsequently extended, mandated that the Attorney General identify categories of former Soviets (specifically Jews, Evangelical Christians, Ukrainian Catholics, and Ukrainian Orthodox), Vietnamese, Lao, and Khmer who were likely targets of persecution and reduced the burden of proof for these categories in establishing a well-founded fear of persecution.

Under U.S. law, a person who has committed acts of persecution, or has assisted in any way in the commission of persecution, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is not eligible for classification as a refugee. Refugees may be ineligible for admission to the U.S. on criminal or security grounds.

d)  Additional Case Processing

Prior to an approved refugee applicant's admission to the United States, he/she must undergo a medical examination, be fingerprinted, clear a security name check, and receive a sponsorship assurance. Transportation arrangements are made through the IOM. Arriving refugees, if not fingerprinted prior to travel, are printed at the port of entry and employment is authorized upon admission. After one year, a refugee is eligible to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident. Five years after admission, a refugee is eligible to apply for citizenship via naturalization. 

4.  Processing Activities of the Department of State

a)  Overseas Processing Services

In most processing locations, the Department of State, Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) engages either an NGO or IOM to manage an OPE to assist in the processing of refugees for admission to the U.S. In a few locations where such arrangements are not feasible or are unwarranted due to insufficient volume, PRM arranges for contract staff to perform this function in U.S. missions overseas. All of the OPE's pre-screen applicants to determine if they qualify for one of the applicable processing priorities. They assist applicants with completing documentary requirements and schedule INS refugee interviews as appropriate. If the refugee is approved for the U.S. program, OPE staff guide the refugee through post-adjudication steps, including obtaining medical screening exams and attending cultural orientation programs. The OPE obtains sponsorship assurances, and, once appropriate security clearances are obtained, refers the case to IOM for transportation arrangements to the U.S.

At present, NGO's work under OPE contracts with the Department of State at locations in Pakistan, Turkey (covering locations throughout the Middle East), Austria, Kenya (covering East Africa), and Ghana (covering West Africa). IOM processes refugees in Egypt, the Former Yugoslavia, Russia, and Syria. U.S. government contractors provide processing services in Cuba, India, Jordan, Thailand and Vietnam.

b)  Cultural Orientation

The Department of State strives to ensure that refugees who are accepted for admission to the U.S. are prepared for the significant changes they will experience during the initial phases of resettlement by providing cultural orientation programs prior to departure for the U.S. It is critical that refugees arrive with a realistic view of what their new lives will be like, what services are available to them, and what their responsibilities will be. The goal of orientation efforts is to ensure that all refugees receive basic information before departure. Every refugee family receives Welcome to the United States, a resettlement guidebook written in 1996 with input from refugee resettlement workers and resettled refugees in conjunction with federal and state government officials. Welcome to the United States is produced in a number of languages. Through this book, refugees have access to a basic core of consistent and accurate information about initial resettlement before they arrive. The material in Welcome to the United States is also available in video format. In addition, the Department of State enters into cooperative agreements for one- to three-day pre-departure orientation classes for eligible refugees at sites throughout the world.

c)  Transportation

The Department of State makes available funds for the transportation of refugees resettled in the U.S. through a program administered by IOM. The cost of transportation is provided to refugees in the form of a loan. Beneficiaries are responsible for repaying these costs over time, beginning six months after their arrival in the U.S.

d)  Reception and Placement (R&P)

The Department of State (PRM) maintains cooperative agreements with ten organizations, including nine private voluntary agencies and one state government agency, to provide initial resettlement services to arriving refugees. The R&P agencies agree to provide initial reception and core services (including housing, furnishings, clothing, food, and medical referrals) to arriving refugees. These services are now provided according to new standards of care developed jointly by the NGO community and U.S. government agencies in FY 2001, and implemented in FY 2002. The ten organizations maintain a nationwide network of nearly 450 affiliated offices to provide services. This network was severely strained by the lull in arrivals following September 11, with no per capita funds from the Department of State. As a result, PRM altered its funding during FY 2002 to permit reimbursement of some overhead costs incurred by local affiliates.

The R&P agreement obligates the participating agencies to provide the following services, using R&P funds supplemented by cash and in-kind contributions from private and other sources:

  • Sponsorship;
  • Pre-arrival resettlement planning, including placement;
  • Reception on arrival;
  • Basic needs support (including housing, furnishings, food, clothing) for at least 30 days;
  • Community orientation;
  • Referrals to health, employment, and other services as needed; and
  • Case management and tracking for 90-180 days, depending upon availability of anchor relatives.

III. REGIONAL PROGRAMS

In the following regional program overviews, a description of refugee conditions in each region is provided. In addition, prospects for voluntary repatriation, resettlement within the region, and third-country resettlement are noted.

A.   Africa

In 2002, flows of refugees throughout the continent of Africa continued to be dynamic. Even as voluntary refugee repatriation continued from Ethiopia to northern Somalia ("Somaliland"), conflict in southern Somalia pushed still more Somali refugees into Kenya. As peace progressed in Sierra Leone, conflict flared in Liberia, generating new refugees whose numbers began to offset Sierra Leonean returns. There are approximately 3.5 million refugees across the African continent, 25% of the worldwide refugee population. The principle of first asylum is still honored by most African countries, though in a number of cases, the newest arrivals have found it difficult to cross into neighboring countries and receive protection and assistance without threat of refoulement. Traditionally, refugees in Africa have been allowed to remain -- and in most cases to integrate locally -- until voluntary repatriation is possible. However, this tradition of tolerance has begun to show signs of deterioration, particularly where there have been successive waves of refugees and a concurrent degradation in the welfare of the host populations.

During the five years prior to FY 2002, admissions of African refugees to the U.S. had been increasing dramatically, from 6,069 in FY 1997 to 19,021 in FY 2001. PRM established a new OPE in Accra during FY 2001 as a processing hub for West African cases.

1. Religious Freedom in Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, religious tolerance is a generally accepted and widely practiced principle, even in the midst of ethnic and other conflicts. Ethiopia, with its historic Muslim and Christian populations, is an excellent example of religious tolerance. However, religious freedom is a growing concern in Nigeria, where northern states have adopted and expanded Shariah law. Denial of religious freedom continues to be an important element of the war in Sudan, where the rise of a militant form of Islam in the dominant North led to efforts to impose Shariah law on all Sudanese, including Christians and animists. Non-Muslims are disadvantaged in many ways, including denial of social services and early education. The Government of Sudan conducts and tolerates attacks on civilians in the predominantly non-Muslim South and is one of the countries with the worst human rights records. While there is renewed hope for a resolution, the U.S. admissions program continues its focus on Sudanese victims of religious persecution and war.

2. Voluntary Repatriation in Africa

Despite the large number of protracted refugee situations throughout Africa, voluntary repatriation to a secure environment remains the most common and the most desirable durable solution. The peace processes in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia/Eritrea for example, have made large-scale voluntary return possible. By mid 2002, some 51,000 of the Eritrean refugees in Sudan had voluntarily returned. (UNHCR announced that the cessation clause (in the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention) will be invoked for Eritrean refugees on December 31, 2002.) The combination of growing security in Sierra Leone and insecurity in Liberia, where many had sought refuge, has led some 171,000 Sierra Leonean refugees to return as of mid 2002. As countries seek to recover from devastating warfare, reintegration aid will be necessary to ensure that the voluntary return is indeed a lasting solution.

While Burundi is not yet at peace, in response to pressure from the Tanzanian government UNHCR is facilitating the voluntary repatriation of some refugees to secure areas there. With the end of war in Angola, refugees are returning there in large numbers. Voluntary return from Ethiopia to secure parts of Somalia has continued in 2001 and 2002, with progressive closure of camps in Ethiopia. Voluntary returns to Somalia from Djibouti began in July. However, continued insecurity in portions of Somalia means that there will likely be protracted Somali refugee situations in Kenya and Ethiopia. Both peace and refugee repatriation continue to elude the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC).

3. Resettlement or Local Integration of Refugees Within Africa

While formal offers of permanent resettlement have rarely been forthcoming from African countries, the provision of first asylum has been an historic constant. Indefinite first asylum without threat of refoulement has sometimes reached the level of de facto local integration in places such as Zambia, Uganda, Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire. However, as attacks in Guinea and political conflict in Cote d'Ivoire demonstrated in 2000, such local integration can be fragile. Initial efforts in Burkina Faso, Benin, and South Africa toward the permanent resettlement of small numbers of African refugees have not progressed far enough to offer real prospects for expansion.

4. Third-country Resettlement Outside the Region

Resettlement in third countries outside the region is an essential durable solution for some African refugees. The possibility of third-country resettlement can play an important protection role, given the political and economic volatility in many areas of Africa. With limited opportunities for complete, permanent integration in neighboring countries and often-protracted periods in refugee camps before voluntary repatriation becomes an option, the need for third-country resettlement of African refugees will continue. All resettlement countries, in particular the U.S., Canada and Australia, accept resettlement referrals from Africa, but the U.S. program resettled over 66% of all UNHCR referrals there in 2001.

While the United States is the leading country in providing resettlement places for African refugees, many African refugee groups face an obstacle to success in the U.S. program due to their "prima facie" refugee status. Many populations have been granted refugee status "en masse," often under the Organization for African Unity (OAU) Convention, which utilizes different criteria than the 1951 Convention. As a result, refugees from these groups may not qualify for refugee status in the United States under current U.S. statutory provisions. UNHCR and the U.S. take these differing requirements into account when identifying appropriate candidates for the U.S. program.

5. FY 2002 Admissions from Africa

We anticipate some 2,500 arrivals from Africa in FY 2002. Five countries (Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) continue to account for the majority of refugees resettled from Africa.

The Africa program has been particularly impacted by enhanced security procedures imposed in the aftermath of September 11. These include security name checks by intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the INS review of all family relationship cases. The majority of cases processed in Africa is affected by one or both of these new requirements. While PRM, INS and other agencies have worked diligently to implement the new requirements, they have caused significant processing delays. The relationship misrepresentations identified by INS in its ongoing review of the P-3 caseload have resulted in the closure of many cases altogether. As the year draws to an end, significant challenges remain to restoring the program while addressing fraud and security issues adequately.

6. FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in Africa

The 20,000 proposed Africa ceiling for FY 2003 is intended to reflect the pressing needs of certain groups of African refugees. At the same time, we are addressing the security and fraud issues cited above and realistically approaching the logistical and political realities of refugee processing in a chronically difficult environment. PRM has actively engaged all appropriate offices within the Department of State, the voluntary agency community, UNHCR, and INS to help identify groups who need resettlement and who will likely qualify under U.S. law. As a result of these discussions, PRM has identified a number of target groups for priority processing during FY 2003. (Note that the number of refugees associated with each group is approximate and represents our most optimistic projections for each.) The effort to identify groups for future processing will continue throughout the coming year.

Proposed FY 2003 admissions program for Africa:

P-1 Referrals from UNHCR

2,000

P-2 Somali-Bantus in Kakuma

5,000

P-3 Family Reunification Cases

12,000

Other cases

 

   (including Africans in Moscow)

1,000

   

Total Proposed Ceiling:

20,000

The proposal is based on an estimate of previously approved refugees who will arrive in the U.S. during FY 2002 plus new processing activity in FY 2003 that will result in arrivals during the fiscal year. Some detail of the new populations currently undergoing or under active consideration for refugee admissions processing is provided below.

Somali Bantu
In FY 2003, we will process the majority of the approximately 12,000 P-2 designated Somali Bantu refugees in Kenya. In July 2002, for security reasons during processing, we began moving this group from the Dadaab refugee camp to the Kakuma camp. INS will begin interviewing in September 2002. Arrivals should span FY 2003 and FY 2004. We estimate 5,000 arrivals during FY 2003.

Mixed marriage cases in Mkugwa camp Tanzania
This group of approximately 250 Burundi refugees have no local integration prospects and have little hope of successful repatriation due to their decisions to cross ethnic and tribal lines to marry. They will be referred for resettlement under the P-2 category by early FY 2003, but those approved are not likely to travel until FY 2004.

Congolese in Angola
Approximately 450 Congolese have been displaced nine times in the last 13 years and are currently living in deplorable conditions in Kifangondo Camp. We will work to expeditiously process this group, likely under P-2, for resettlement during FY 2003. We are also exploring the possibility of a P-2 designation for approximately 6,600 long-stayer Congolese in the Viana Camps in Angola. Current conditions in the DRC do not bode well for the repatriation of these long-stayer populations in the near future.

Kuname Eritreans in Walanibhy Camp Ethiopia
These 4,000 Eritreans have no local integration prospects and are viewed with suspicion by Eritrea due to their decision to seek refuge in Ethiopia during the war. We will actively pursue an appropriate P-2 designation for this group during FY 2003.

P-1 Individual Referrals from UNHCR
PRM has worked closely with UNHCR to strengthen its resettlement capacity in Africa and to insert appropriate safeguards into their referral programs in light of the finding of significant corruption, particularly in Nairobi. UNHCR has developed new operating procedures for referrals and plans to add resettlement positions in the region. The addition of resettlement-focused resources will facilitate the identification and referral of individual refugees (and possibly groups) for whom resettlement is the most appropriate durable solution.

7. Possible Future Groups/Programs

An obstacle currently hindering our efforts to identify resettlement candidates in Africa is the absence of reliable registration information on refugee populations. We are working with UNHCR and the NGO community to redress this inadequacy – which should lead to greater access to some large populations in West Africa later in 2003. A reliable and consistent registration program will not only expedite referral and processing of resettlement candidates, but also improve relief and assistance efforts and address some of the issues of identity fraud of concern to all organizations involved in providing services.

B.  East Asia

Thailand is host to the largest population of refugees in East Asia, comprised primarily of some 130,000 members of Burmese ethnic minorities in encampments along its border with Burma. Other large populations of refugees in the region are located in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Some 22,000 Burmese Rohingyas remain in Bangladesh after the repatriation of over 200,000 of this group. In spite of ongoing repatriation efforts, the Rohingyas remaining in Bangladesh appear to have limited prospects of voluntary repatriation or local integration. The remaining East Timorese refugees in Indonesia (30-40,000) are in the process of returning to East Timor.

During 2001, 1,100 Montagnard refugees fled from Vietnam to Cambodia, fearing reprisals by the Vietnamese Government over their involvement in demonstrations in the Central Highlands over land-use and religious freedom issues in early-February 2001. In early 2002, some 150 of these asylum seekers voluntarily returned to Vietnam. The remaining 950 were processed for U.S. resettlement and began to arrive in the U.S. in June.

1.  Religious Freedom in East Asia

Most countries in the East Asia region permit freedom of worship. However, religious freedom in North Korea is not allowed and all organized religious activity except that which serves the interests of the state is suppressed.

The situation in some countries such as China, Vietnam and Laos, is mixed. The Chinese and Vietnamese constitutions provide for freedom of worship; however, both governments restrict activities of religious organizations that they define as being at variance with state laws and policies. Most independent religious activities are either prohibited or severely restricted. Despite dramatic increases in religious observance in China, the government continues to suppress those religions it cannot directly control, most notably the Vatican affiliated (underground) Catholic Church, Protestant "house churches," some Muslim groups, as well as the Falun Gong spiritual movement. There are many cases of arrest, imprisonment, and mistreatment of religious believers in China. The situation for some religious groups in Laos is similar to that in Vietnam. In Burma, the government represses most non-Buddhist religions, though there are recent indications that the regime is taking steps to be more tolerant of other religions.

The U.S. admissions program processes refugee cases referred by UNHCR and U.S. Embassies whose claims are based on persecution due to religious beliefs. We have worked closely with UNHCR to strengthen this referral process.

2. Voluntary Repatriation in East Asia

Although 6,000 of the 22,000 Burmese Rohingyas remaining in Bangladesh have been cleared for return by the Burmese authorities, the pace of repatriations has been very slow. Recent negotiations by Bangladesh, Burma and UNHCR may result in an increased rate of returns for this group in FY 2003. Currently, there are approximately 30-40,000 East Timorese remaining in West Timor from the estimated 250,000 who fled or were forced there in 1999. The number returning to East Timor has greatly increased in the last few months. UNHCR anticipates continued high rates of return.

3. Resettlement or Local Integration within East Asia

The willingness of countries in the region to resettle refugees or even to grant temporary asylum has historically been and continues to be constrained, although many countries have hosted refugees for decades. The Thai government officially labels Burmese asylum seekers "displaced persons" who are now officially permitted to enter Thailand only if they are fleeing actual fighting.

4. Third-country Resettlement outside the Region

The U.S. and other resettlement countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Nordic countries, continue to process refugee cases from East Asia referred by UNHCR. In 2002, the U.S. processed UNHCR-referred refugee cases in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

In addition to admissions from first asylum countries, as described above, the U.S. administers an in-country refugee admissions program in Vietnam. With the closure in 1999 of the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) office in Bangkok, Thailand, the Vietnamese in-country program has been managed by the Refugee Resettlement Section (RRS) at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. Only a small number of residual ODP refugee applicants remain to be processed.

The Vietnamese Amerasian immigrant program remains an integral part of the U.S. Government's East Asian refugee admissions program. Although the "Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987" designated Amerasians as a special class of immigrant, they are by law accorded refugee benefits and are therefore included in the refugee admissions ceiling.

In 1997, the U.S. and Vietnam agreed on a process and a set of procedures for implementing the Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees program (ROVR) for persons returning from first asylum camps in the region, which all closed officially that year. Fewer than 30 ROVR applicants remain to be interviewed.

5. FY 2002 Admissions from East Asia

We expect to admit some 3,500 refugees from East Asia in FY 2002. In addition to the processing of residual-ODP and ROVR cases, the RRS had responsibility for processing some residual cases of former U.S. government employees (U11). (Eligibility for this program was limited to those Vietnamese who were direct-hire employees of the U.S. government for a minimum of five years prior to 1975.) The resumption of processing of the U11 caseload, which was suspended in 1996, was authorized in 1999. In 2000, the physical files of all 2,282 applicants in this caseload were reviewed by officers of the Department of State and INS and 946 applicants were determined eligible for refugee interviews. INS interviewed these cases in April and May 2002. We expect that the majority of the applicants approved for U.S. resettlement and their accompanying family members will arrive in the U.S. before the end of calendar year 2002.

As we complete the processing of ODP and ROVR cases, we have restructured the refugee program in Vietnam with the goal of providing refugee resettlement opportunities to those individuals who have recently experienced persecution or threats of persecution. Amerasian cases continue to be processed at the American Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City.

The FY 2002 admissions program also included a group of 950 Montagnard refugees who fled from Vietnam to Cambodia during 2001. Given the precarious situation faced by this group in Cambodia, the U.S. conducted expedited processing during May and June of FY 2002, and the majority of the group arrived in the U.S. during the summer of 2002.

The U.S. participates in a UNHCR-led, multinational effort to resettle a discreet group of Burmese students and dissidents in Thailand. A few residual cases from this group arrived in the U.S. during FY 2002 and we anticipate that the processing of these refugees will be completed in early FY 2003.

6. FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in East Asia

We propose an admissions ceiling of 4,000 for East Asia for FY 2003. With the completion of the processing of the Burmese student dissident population currently in Thailand, direct resettlement of Burmese from first-asylum countries is not expected to exceed 400. We project 3,600 admissions under the in-country program in Vietnam, including U11, ROVR, and Amerasian applicants, and remaining re-education camp detainees and eligible family members (McCain Amendment cases).

All East Asian nationalities will continue to be eligible for Priority One (P-1) processing when referred to the U.S. program by UNHCR or a U.S. Embassy. Completion of processing of the residual ODP and ROVR cases in Vietnam will continue to be processed under Priority Two (P-2).

Proposed FY 2003 East Asia Program:

First Asylum P-1 Referrals

400

P-2 In-Country Program, Vietnam

3,600

   

Total Proposed Ceiling:

4,000

7.   Possible Future Groups/Programs

In East Asia, as part of the U.S. initiative to identify refugee populations in need of resettlement, the U.S. is looking at the situation of the Burmese Rohingyas in Bangladesh, the mostly Karen Burmese ethnic minorities in camps along the Thai/Burma border, and the Bhutanese in Nepal. The majority of these refugees fled their countries of origin a decade or more ago.

The U.S. administers refugee admissions from Europe as two distinct resettlement programs: one for refugees from the Former Soviet Union and the Baltic states and one for refugees from Eastern Europe. The programs are discussed separately below.

C.  Europe

1.  Former Soviet Union and Baltic States (FSU)

The nations that once comprised the Soviet Union and the Baltic States now show a wide divergence of progress in achieving democracy, rule of law, economic growth, and tolerance. Volatile economic conditions and old-think policies continue to plague government reform efforts in many former Soviet states. While political freedom is exercised across most of these republics to a much greater extent than during the Soviet era, respect for press, human rights, and religious freedom remains problematic in most of these countries, with recurrent instances of official restrictions of these rights. Elections in some FSU states continue to be manipulated by the parties in power with the press and media restricted or threatened. Politically motivated murders have occurred in some countries. Seemingly-racially motivated attacks against dark-skinned foreigners, immigrants and refugees have occurred in many Russian cities, including Moscow. The security situation in Russia's North Caucasus region remains very dangerous because of the ongoing conflict in Chechnya. Tens of thousands of Chechens are internally displaced in or near Chechnya.

a) Religious Freedom in the FSU

Freedom of religion has varied widely in the former republics following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Most states regulate religious groups and activities to some degree, for example establishing so-called "traditional" religions that enjoy privileges sometimes denied to other newer religious groups. Following the example of Russia in 1997, many states enacted restrictive legislation to govern the activities of foreign missionaries, especially those from Protestant or nontraditional denominations. Registration with state bodies in many cases is required, not only to establish a group as a legal entity that can rent or own space, but in some cases a group's right to hold religious services. Harassment (typically by local officials) of local clergy and confiscation of church and private property of adherents have been reported in a number of countries throughout the region. In most countries, obstruction or delay of registration, usually imposed arbitrarily by local officials, continues to frustrate some denominations. Some local authorities are reportedly suspicious of religious groups they see as having political agendas. While most evangelical churches have been registered and permitted to practice freely, some still have problems with recalcitrant local authorities who object to "foreign" groups and foreign missionaries, and who subject evangelical churches to arbitrary regulations and even confiscation of private property. Some countries deny visas or visa-renewals to foreign religious workers with increasing frequency. Anti-Semitic statements by some elected officials, demonstrations by extremist groups, and attacks on synagogues and other places where religious groups gather have been reported. In 2002, at least seven anti-Semitic messages on boxes or placards were found across Russia, some of which were booby-trapped and exploded, killing and injuring several people. Despite energetic condemnation by President Putin, police investigation of these incidents, described as mere "hooliganism," has been lax.

b) Third-country Resettlement outside the Region

In addition to the U.S., Germany, Canada, and Australia continue to resettle immigrants and refugees from the countries of the FSU. Jewish emigration to Israel continues from the region, with some 44,000 individuals availing themselves of this opportunity in 2001.

U.S. refugee admissions processing for the FSU is based in Moscow but includes circuit rides to other capitals to process UNHCR (P-1) referrals and individuals with Lautenberg Amendment (PL 106-113) eligibility who have family ties to the U.S. The Lautenberg Amendment reduces the evidentiary burden on Lautenberg Category applicants (Jews, Evangelical Christians and certain members of the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox Churches) who seek to establish refugee claims from "an independent state of the former Soviet Union or of Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania". Most refugees resettled from the FSU have family ties to the U.S. The large backlogs of the early 1990s have been eliminated and most eligible cases are scheduled for appointment within several months of the date of application. The OPE in Moscow receives an average of 500 new applications from eligible individuals per month.

In FY 2000, the program initiated circuit rides to the Caucasus and central Asia to consider cases of applicants for whom travel to Moscow was difficult, as well as referrals from UNHCR for nationals of other countries. Circuit rides continued in FY 2002, although the events of September 11 caused the cancellations of several proposed trips. In the end, INS was able to travel to Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Georgia, interviewing 70 UNHCR and 200 Lautenberg cases.

c) FY 2002 Admissions from the FSU

In FY 2002, we estimate 11,000 admissions from the FSU. The lower than expected number of arrivals this year was caused in large part by the loss of INS interview space at Embassy Moscow for four months because of post-September 11 security concerns. INS resumed interviewing on a limited basis in February 2002, but did not recover its full interviewing capacity until July 2002.

On July 1, 2002, the U.S. introduced a new P-2 classification in Russia for Baku Armenians. This group of ethnic Armenians was evacuated from Azerbaijan between 1988 and 1992 but was never offered a durable solution in Russia. We expect a total of some 2,300 to be approved for admission and arrive in the U.S. during FY 2003. The registration period for members of this group will end on October 31, 2002.

d) FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in FSU

The proposed FY 2003 ceiling for refugees from the FSU is 14,000. We expect some 200 P-1 referrals from UNHCR, including referrals from around the region and a fairly large group of urban African long-stayers who cannot return home due to a fear of persecution, have been harassed in Russia because of their race and, therefore, have no hope of local integration. (Note: The African long-stayers will be counted against the Africa ceiling.) Under the P-2 in-country program, we will continue to process Lautenberg-eligible cases, of which we expect 11,500 arrivals. In addition, some 2,300 Baku Armenians are being processed as a P-2 group.

Proposed FY-2003 FSU program: 

P-1 Referrals from UNHCR

200

In-Country Lautenberg Program

11,500

Baku Armenian P-2

2,300

   

Total Proposed Ceiling:

14,000

e) Possible Future Groups/Programs

The Department of State is reviewing the possible resettlement needs of some 13,000 Meskhetian Turks who continue to struggle for full residency rights in Krasnodar province in the Russian Republic, and, if appropriate, plans to actively pursue a P-2 designation for this group during FY 2003.

2. Southeastern Europe

Although diminishing in number, nationals of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, particularly Bosnia, continue to comprise a population of asylum-seekers in Europe outside the FSU. While both the human rights situation and repatriation opportunities continue to improve in Bosnia, neither is ideal -- particularly for returning minorities.

a) Religious Persecution in Southeastern Europe

Religion and ethnicity go hand in hand in the Balkans and persecution on religious/ethnic grounds has been a significant factor in both the Bosnia and Kosovo resettlement efforts. The refugee admissions program has provided access to protection for persecuted Muslims, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians, as well as individuals of other religious minorities and mixed marriages. We will continue to work with UNHCR, non-governmental organizations, human rights groups, and U.S. missions to identify victims of religious persecution for whom resettlement is appropriate.

b) Voluntary Repatriation to Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia

According to UNHCR, over 392,000 refugees had returned to Bosnia by March 31, 2002. In addition, over 452,000 internally displaced persons have returned to their homes since the end of the war. The rate of ethnic minority returns has been steadily increasing since 1998, with a peak of 92,000 in 2001. We anticipate 2002 returns will exceed this level, but will probably taper off in coming years as the number of remaining displaced persons decreases. The lack of economic opportunities, particularly in poorer areas of the Serb-dominated entity of Bosnia, discourages returns, as do security conditions in some Serb-dominated areas of Bosnia.

The international community is supporting efforts to create favorable conditions for the return of minorities to Kosovo while at the same time supporting ongoing emergency assistance and protection to Macedonian refugees in the province. The international community also is assisting the Macedonian government in facilitating refugee and internally-displaced person returns to their homes in Macedonia.

c) Resettlement or Local Integration in Europe

Substantial populations of Bosnian refugees remain in Germany and other parts of Europe. Some European countries, particularly Norway, Sweden and Denmark, have regularized the status of Bosnians within their borders under temporary protective status regimes. In November 2000, Germany granted temporary residence permits to some 15,000 Bosnian refugees considered traumatized or with family members too traumatized to return to Bosnia. It has not, however, granted permanent status to these refugees, who are expected to return to Bosnia upon the completion of their respective medical treatments.

There are some 10,000 Bosnian refugees remaining in Croatia and an estimated 30,000 Croatian Serbs in Republika Srpska without permanent status. An estimated 250,000 ethnic Serbs who fled from the Krajina region of Croatia now live in Serbia. Many of these refugees had been temporarily resettled in Kosovo and were uprooted once again during the Kosovo conflict in 1999. Political changes in the last two years have improved the possibilities for return to Croatia for Krajina Serbs, though poor economic prospects and some continuing opposition at the local level limit returns. At the same time, changes in Serbia's nationality law, which now allows dual citizenship, may encourage local integration in Serbia. There are also approximately 140,000 Bosnian Serb refugees residing in Serbia and Montenegro (the vast majority in Serbia). Several thousand returned to Bosnia in the past two years and the rate of return will likely increase in the near future. However, it is expected that the majority will ultimately resettle in Serbia and Montenegro.

d) Third-Country Resettlement Outside the Region

In 2002, Australia, Canada and the U.S. resettled refugees from the former Yugoslavia. The U.S. admissions program continues to receive P-1 UNHCR or Embassy referrals for refugees from the Balkans but discontinued accepting new applications for family reunification programs in FY-2001.

e) FY 2002 Admissions from Southeastern Europe

Approximately 6,000 refugees from the former Yugoslavia will be admitted during FY 2002. Almost all were processed in Zagreb and Belgrade, as processing in Frankfurt was largely completed in FY 2001. Family reunification programs for Bosnian refugees were phased out during FY 2001, but many cases registered before the cut off dates were processed and arrived in the U.S. during FY 2002.

f) FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in Southeastern Europe

The proposed admissions ceiling for refugees from Southeastern Europe in FY 2003 is 2,500. The refugee population requiring resettlement in FY 2003 has decreased considerably due to the changing political landscape in the Balkans. UNHCR and Embassy P-1 referrals will be the sole processing priority for refugees from the region in FY 2003, and is likely to include Serbs, Kosovar Albanians, and Roma.

Proposed FY 2003 program for Southeastern Europe:  

P-1 Referrals from UNHCR

500

Other refugees

2,000

   

Total Proposed Ceiling:

2,500

D.  Latin America and a the Caribbean

UNHCR reports that, in the first four months of 2002, some 37,000 Colombians had fled to Ecuador and that 719 Colombians were accorded refugee status during the first five months of 2002 by the Government of Ecuador. Additional numbers are now moving to Panama, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. Over 5,000 Colombians have applied for asylum in Costa Rica, causing that government to impose a visa requirement on Colombians.

In response to the dangers faced by police, lawyers, judges and others in Colombia, the U.S. began a small P-1 resettlement program in 2002 to resettle Colombians referred by the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. This program was initially expected to yield only small numbers; however as the conflict continues in Colombia we are making provisions to expand the program. In coming months, the U.S. is likely to begin processing Colombians referred by UNHCR in Ecuador and elsewhere.

Under the U.S.- Cuba Bilateral Migration Agreement of 1994, the U.S. is committed to approving 20,000 Cubans for lawful migration to the United States each year. The refugee admissions component of that overall number is managed under the in-country Priority 2 program described above. In recent years, Cuban admissions have averaged some 2,500 per year.

While the vast majority of migrants fleeing Haiti seek economic opportunity, the situation continues to be unstable and could lead to migrant outflows.

1. Religious Freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America, religious freedom is widely recognized and enjoyed. The key exception is Cuba, where the government engages in active efforts to monitor and control religious institutions, including surveillance, infiltration, harassment of clergy and members, evictions from and confiscation of places of worship, and preventive detention of religious activists. The Cuban government also uses registration as a mechanism of control; by refusing to register new denominations, it makes them vulnerable to charges of illegal association. U.S. resettlement program allows Cubans persecuted for religious activities priority access to the program.

2. Resettlement or Local Integration within Latin America and the Caribbean

In the recent past, Latin America has not produced large numbers of resettlement cases and local integration has been the most suitable solution to regional refugee problems. However, as the conflict in Colombia worsens and more refugees flee to neighboring countries, resettlement is becoming an important durable solution for those who face physical risks and urgent protection needs.

The Governments of Ecuador and Costa Rica have tried to maintain a liberal asylum policy and allow Colombians in need of protection to file asylum applications and integrate. As more refugees have fled to these countries, however, living conditions in Ecuador and Costa Rica for Colombian refugees have deteriorated as refugees wait longer and longer for status determinations and find themselves unable to gain legal status and the right to work. For refugees in Venezuela, Panama and Peru, the situation is worse as those governments are reluctant to receive Colombian refugees and lack any effective means to grant refugee status. Many Colombians in need of protection who cross irregularly into these countries must hide in remote border areas or in shantytowns of larger cities.

3. Third-country Resettlement outside the Region

In FY 2002, Cubans comprised the overwhelming majority of refugees resettled in the U.S. from Latin America. Historically, Cuban admissions have been former political prisoners and forced labor conscripts, most of whom served sentences in the 1960's and 1970's. The program was expanded in 1991 to include human rights activists, displaced professionals and others facing credible claims of persecution. The expanded criteria remain in effect today.

Cubans eligible to apply for admission to the U.S. through the P-2 in-country program include the following:

(1)  Former political prisoners;
(2)  Members of persecuted religious minorities;
(3)  Human rights activists;
(4)  Forced labor conscripts (1965-68);
(5)  Persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatments resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs;
(6)  Others who appear to have a credible claim that they will face persecution as defined in the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.

The U.S. began a small P-1 program in FY 2002 to address at-risk Colombian refugees for whom resettlement is the only appropriate durable solution. PRM hopes to expand this program in FY 2003 by providing assistance with resettlement processing to Embassy Bogotᠡnd increasing UNHCR's capacity to provide protection and resettlement referrals for more Colombian refugees.

The U.S. also facilitates the resettlement of Cuban and Haitian migrants who are interdicted by the Coast Guard or who enter Guantanamo Naval Base illegally and are found by INS to have protection concerns to other countries in the region and, occasionally, to Europe and Australia. Through the end of May 2002, 152 Cubans were resettled from Guantanamo to eleven different countries.

4. FY 2002 Admissions from Latin America and the Caribbean

In FY 2002, we expect to admit some 2,000 refugees from the region, the vast majority Cuban. In addition to refugee admissions, many thousands of Cubans will come to the United States through other legal avenues, such as the parole lottery program. In general, oppression by the Cuban government is now subtler than during the period immediately following the revolution; however, crackdowns against human rights activists continue to occur.

5. FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in Latin America and the Caribbean

The 2,500 proposed ceiling for Latin America for FY 2003 will comprise both Cuban refugees eligible for the in-country P-2 program and the growing need to provide durable solutions for Colombian refugees. PRM is working with UNHCR in Ecuador and Venezuela to increase P-1 resettlement referrals of Colombians. We will continue to explore other possible P-2 groups, which could include vulnerable women from the Ibarra area refugee population in Ecuador. We are also seeking ways to assist with processing of Embassy Bogotᠲeferrals.

Proposed FY 2003 program for Latin America: 

P-1 Referrals of Colombians

500

P-2 Cuba In-Country program

2,000

   

Total Proposed Ceiling:

2,500

E.  Near East and South Asia

The Near East/South Asia region is host to the majority of the world's refugee population comprising some 7 million people, primarily Afghans, Palestinians and Iraqis. Few countries in the region are signatories to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and/or its 1967 Protocol. Nonetheless, host governments generally continue to tolerate the presence of refugees. UNHCR, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and other humanitarian organizations work with refugees in the region. Some countries have provided long-term protection, mainly to Palestinians, Afghans and some African nationals. Despite the voluntary return of over one million Afghan refugees from countries of asylum this year, the Government of Pakistan has acknowledged that it may need to continue to host some of the Afghan refugee population for two to three more years, until conditions in Afghanistan are stable enough to permit a safe return for all. Other countries in the region have provided long-term asylum for Tibetan, Bhutanese, Sri Lankan and Iraqi refugees. The majority of the refugees identified for third-country resettlement by UNHCR are Iraqis, Iranians and Afghans in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, India, and Lebanon.

1. Religious Persecution in the Near East and South Asia

Persecution of religious minorities is common in certain countries in the Middle East and South Asia. In Pakistan, discriminatory legislation has led to acts of violence by extremists against religious minorities, including Shi'as, Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and Zikris. In 2002, terrorist violence was directed against Islamabad's International Protestant Church, killing two Americans. In India, responses by state and local authorities to extremist violence against religious minorities were often inadequate. In Saudi Arabia, public non-Muslim worship is a criminal offense. In Iraq there are reports of persecution of Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, Mandaeans and Yazidis. In several countries in the region, the conversion of a Muslim to another religion is viewed as a criminal act. In Iran, particularly severe persecution of minority religions, including executions of Mandaeans and of Baha'is, continues.

2. Voluntary Repatriation in the Near East and South Asia

Since the fall of the Taliban, voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan has proceeded on a massive scale, with and without UNHCR assistance. By mid-summer 2002, some 1.7 million Afghan refugees had repatriated with projections of some two million by the end of the year. Sporadic interfactional fighting and continued drought have led to a continued small outflow of refugees, primarily into Pakistan. The sheer magnitude of repatriation has taxed the ability of the UN and other humanitarian organizations to conduct and/or monitor repatriation of Afghan refugees.

3. Resettlement or Local Integration within the Near East and South Asia

Few countries in the region offer permanent resettlement to refugees. In the past, Pakistan has granted prima facie refugee status to all Afghans. Since 1999, however, new arrivals have been screened prior to being permitted entry.

India does not have a clear national policy for the treatment of refugees and the UNHCR has no formal status there. India recognizes and aids certain groups as refugees, including Tamils and Tibetans in 131 camps throughout the country. It permits UNHCR to assist other groups --primarily Afghans, Iranians, Somalis, Burmese, and Sudanese. In 2000, there were about 98,000 Tibetans and 65,000 Sri LankanTamils in India, all of whom were permitted to work and receive social benefits. While India refouled several dozen Afghans in 1999, no recent cases have been reported.

4. Third-Country Resettlement outside the Region

The absence of legal protection for asylum-seekers in the region leaves many refugees at risk of refoulement. The situation is especially precarious for Iranians and Iraqis, who are often viewed with suspicion or hostility in neighboring countries.

In 2002, UNHCR continued its attempts to reduce the backlog of refugees awaiting status determinations in the Middle East. Many of the refugees were identified as in need of third-country resettlement. Principal resettlement countries operating in the region include the U.S., Sweden, Canada, Norway, Australia, Finland, Denmark, and New Zealand. UNHCR considers family reunification, protection issues and vulnerability in first asylum when determining which individuals to refer to resettlement countries. The U.S. has provided additional funding to expand UNHCR's referral capacity and expects to increase this funding in FY 2003.

The U.S. primarily resettles refugees from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan from this region. The Iranians and Iraqis are widely dispersed, with relatively few resident in refugee camps. Most resettlement to the U.S. in the region is initiated by UNHCR referral.

Middle Eastern and South Asian refugees in Europe avail themselves of the asylum systems of the countries in which they are located. In Vienna, however, certain Iranian religious minorities (Baha'is, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians) may be processed for U.S. resettlement using special procedures authorized by the government of Austria. (Mandaeans, who are categorized as Christians by the Iranian government, yet who consider themselves a distinct religion, are generally not treated as a separate religious group in the consideration of asylum and refugee cases.) PRM maintains refugee processing facilities in Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan. In addition, INS conducts circuit rides to other locations in the region on an as-needed basis.

5. FY 2002 Admissions from the Near East and South Asia

The events of September 11 significantly reduced arrivals from this region in FY 2002. New security requirements placed on refugee processing delayed travel for thousands of approved individuals. Embassy drawdowns and other security concerns for U.S. government personnel overseas interrupted processing in some locations. Finally, repatriation possibilities for Afghans overtook plans to expand processing in Pakistan this year.

Current estimates are that we will admit no more than 3,000 refugees from the region in FY 2002. This total will include approximately 600 Iranians processed in Vienna, and 1,300 refugees from Pakistan, primarily Afghan Women at Risk. The remainder will come from a variety of locations in the region as well as a small number from the FSU. Processing in New Delhi was discontinued in May 2002 due to Embassy personnel drawdowns following escalating Indo-Pakistani tensions.

6. FY 2003 Resettlement Priorities in the Near East and South Asia

The proposed regional ceiling for refugees from the Near East and South Asia for FY 2003 is 7,000. It includes Iranians, Afghans and Iraqis approved by INS in FY 2002 who will not travel to the U.S. by the end of this fiscal year, P-1 UNHCR referrals from throughout the region and members of Iranian religious minorities eligible under P-2 guidelines.

Proposed FY-2003 Near East/South Asia program: 

P-1 Referrals from UNHCR

5,000

P-2 Iranian Religious Minorities

2,000

   

Total Proposed Ceiling:

7,000

7. Possible Future Groups/Programs

PRM is reviewing designating Yazidis, Aramaic-speaking Iraqis (Assyrians, Chaldeans and Mandaeans) and other Iraqi ethnic minorities as potential P-2 groups for the future. We expect that resettlement program funding provided to UNHCR specifically for use in the region will result in an increase in P-1 referrals in the region, particularly of Iraqi long-stayers. Depending on the security environment in FY 2003, we hope to resume refugee processing in locations throughout the region. With continued repatriation of Afghans from Iran and Pakistan, we foresee resettlement limited to small numbers of particularly vulnerable Afghans.

F. Unallocated Reserve

Included in the FY 2003 admissions program are 20,000 funded but unallocated admissions that could be used if we are able to identify and process additional refugee caseloads during FY 2003. Given our ongoing efforts to develop new caseloads, this unallocated reserve will provide the flexibility to accommodate additional numbers in any geographic region. Some populations we are now exploring which could lead to the need for unallocated reserve numbers include the Congolese in Angola, the Kuname Eritreans in Ethiopia, the Meshketian Turks in Russia, and Colombians in Ecuador.

IV.DOMESTIC IMPACT OF REFUGEE ADMISSIONS

The demographic characteristics of arrivals from the 15 largest source countries (which contributed over 98% of FY 2001 arrivals into the U.S.) illustrate the variation among refugee groups. Median age ranged from 17 years for arrivals from Liberia to 30 years for arrivals from Cuba. The median age for all refugees resettled in FY 2001 was 23 years.

Table II
Median Age and Sex for Refugee Arrivals FY 2001

Country of Origin

Rank (# of Arrivals)

Median
Age

% Female/% Male

Former Yugoslavia

1

25.0

49.1 / 50.9

Former Soviet Union

2

30.0

51.2 / 48.8

Iran

3

28.0

45.6 / 54.4

Sudan

4

20.0

20.5 / 79.4

Somalia

5

19.0

47.2 / 52.8

Liberia

6

17.0

53.6 / 46.4

Vietnam

7

29.0

49.3 / 50.7

Afghanistan

8

16.5

57.5 / 42.5

Cuba

9

33.0

47.3 / 52.7

Iraq

10

25.0


45.5 / 54.4

Sierra Leone

11

20.0

54.1 / 45.9

Ethiopia

12

20.0

42.7 / 57.3

Burma

13

26.0

43.6 / 56.4

Togo

14

22.0

48.9 / 51.1

Dem. Rep. Congo

15

16.0

52.3 / 47.7

All other Countries

--

20.0

47.5 / 52.5

 Considerable variation among refugee groups can be seen among specific age categories. Arrivals under the age of five varied from a high of 19% for the Burmese to a low of 3% for the Togolese. Arrivals of school-age children (five to 17 years of age) varied from a high of 46%for Afghans to a low of 13% for Vietnamese. Arrivals of working-age (16 to 64 years of age) varied from 80% for Sudanese to a low of 50% for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Arrivals of retirement-age (65 years or older) varied from a high of 10% for arrivals from the former Soviet Union to a low of none from the Democratic Republic of Congo. For all arrivals, 9% were under the age of five, 29% were of school-age, 66% were of working age, and 2% were of retirement-age.

Table III
Select Age Categories for Refugee Arrivals FY 2001*

Country
of Origin

Under 5 Years

School Age
(5-17)

Working Age(16-64)

Retirement Age
(= or > 65)

Former Yugoslavia

9.0

25.4

67.9

1.7

Former Soviet Union

8.5

26.7

58.2

10.6

Iran

5.3

21.6

74.5

2.9

Sudan

6.7

21.7

80.8

0.2

Somalia

6.1

35.2

64.2

4.0

Liberia

9.2

40.9

56.1

1.8

Vietnam

12.9

13.6

74.7

1.3

Afghanistan

7.0

46.6

51.3

2.3

Cuba

6.2

17.4

72.5

6.5

Iraq

9.4

28.5

63.8

2.1

Sierra Leone

5.2

33.7

64.6

4.5

Ethiopia

4.2

27.7

79.1

0.6

Burma

19.5

14.5

66.7

0.9

Togo

3.6

32.2

68.8

0.4

Dem. Rep. Congo

13.3

42.2

50.8

0.0

All Other Countries

11.8

33.7

59.0

0.2

*Totals may exceed 100% due to over-lapping age categories.

During FY 2001, 75% of newly arrived refugees resettled in 15 States. California (15%) resettled the largest number of refugees, followed by New York (10%), Washington (6%), Florida, Minnesota, and Texas (5%), Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania (4%), and Arizona, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Virginia (3%), followed by Oregon (2%). Table IV presents arrivals by state of initial resettlement for FY 2001.

Table IV
Refugee Arrivals by State of Initial Resettlement, FY 2001
 

 

AMERASIAN

REFUGEE

TOTAL

STATE

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Alabama

2

0.53%

111

0.16%

113

0.17%

Alaska

0

0.00%

55

0.08%

55

0.08%

Arizona

8

2.12%

2,292

3.37%

2,300

3.36%

Arkansas

0

0.00%

14

0.02%

14

0.02%

California

44

11.64%

10,051

14.78%

10,095

14.76%

Colorado

9

2.38%

1,015

1.49%

1,024

1.50%

Connecticut

0

0.00%

975

1.43%

975

1.43%

Delaware

0

0.00%

59

0.09%

59

0.09%

District of Columbia

0

0.00%

112

0.16%

112

0.16%

Florida

10

2.65%

3,661

5.38%

3,671

5.37%

Georgia

15

3.97%

2,462

3.62%

2,477

3.62%

Hawaii

1

0.26%

18

0.03%

19

0.03%

Idaho

0

0.00%

675

0.99%

675

0.99%

Illinois

20

5.29%

2,652

3.90%

2,672

3.91%

Indiana

4

1.06%

522

0.77%

526

0.77%

Iowa

30

7.94%

1,024

1.51%

1,054

1.54%

Kansas

3

0.79%

155

0.23%

158

0.23%

Kentucky

0

0.00%

1,013

1.49%

1,013

1.48%

Louisiana

25

6.61%

340

0.50%

365

0.53%

Maine

0

0.00%

224

0.33%

224

0.33%

Maryland

3

0.79%

1,339

1.97%

1,342

1.96%

Massachusetts

6

1.59%

1,891

2.78%

1,897

2.77%

Michigan

21

5.56%

2,333

3.43%

2,354

3.44%

Minnesota

3

0.79%

3,221

4.74%

3,224

4.71%

Mississippi

0

0.00%

104

0.15%

104

0.15%

Missouri

9

2.38%

2,252

3.31%

2,261

3.31%

Montana

0

0.00%

8

0.01%

8

0.01%

Nebraska

6

1.59%

654

0.96%

660

0.97%

Nevada

0

0.00%

357

0.52%

357

0.52%

New Hampshire

0

0.00%

538

0.79%

538

0.79%

New Jersey

6

1.59%

1,346

1.98%

1,352

1.98%

New Mexico

8

2.12%

186

0.27%

194

0.28%

New York

13

3.44%

6,577

9.67%

6,590

9.64%

North Carolina

37

9.79%

1,017

1.50%

1,054

1.54%

North Dakota

0

0.00%

367

0.54%

367

0.54%

Ohio

1

0.26%

1,363

2.00%

1,364

1.99%

Oklahoma

0

0.00%

126

0.19%

126

0.18%

Oregon

4

1.06%

1,393

2.05%

1,397

2.04%

Pennsylvania

4

1.06%

2,578

3.79%

2,582

3.78%

Puerto Rico

0

0.00%

3

0.00%

3

0.00%

Rhode Island

0

0.00%

310

0.46%

310

0.45%

South Carolina

0

0.00%

83

0.12%

83

0.12%

South Dakota

0

0.00%

301

0.44%

301

0.44%

Tennessee

9

2.38%

911

1.34%

920

1.35%

Texas

48

12.70%

3,477

5.11%

3,525

5.15%

Utah

0

0.00%

925

1.36%

925

1.35%

Vermont

8

2.12%

253

0.37%

261

0.38%

Virginia

17

4.50%

1,781

2.62%

1,798

2.63%

Washington

0

0.00%

4,300

6.32%

4,300

6.29%

West Virginia

4

1.06%

7

0.01%

11

0.02%

Wisconsin

0

0.00%

578

0.85%

578

0.85%

Table Total

378

100.0%

68,009

100.0%

68,387

100.0%


NOTE:  Arrival figures do not reflect secondary migration.
Source:  Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement

In FY 2001, the 13 largest source countries contributed over 98% of arrivals into the U.S. They included the former Yugoslavia (23%), the former USSR (22%), Iran (10%), Sudan (9%), Somalia (7%), Liberia and Vietnam (5%), Afghanistan, Cuba, and Iraq (4%), Sierra Leone (3%), Ethiopia (2%), followed by Burma (1%). Table V presents arrivals by country of origin for FY 2001.

Table V
Refugee Arrivals by Country of Origin, FY 2001

AMERASIAN

REFUGEE

TOTAL

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

AFGHANISTAN

--

--

2954

4.34%

2954

4.32%

ALBANIA

--

--

3

0.00%

3

0.00%

ALGERIA

--

--

31

0.05%

31

0.05%

ANGOLA

--

--

34

0.05%

34

0.05%

ARGENTINA

--

--

5

0.01%

5

0.01%

BAHRAIN

--

--

3

0.00%

3

0.00%

BURMA

--

--

543

0.80%

543

0.79%

BURUNDI

--

--

109

0.16%

109

0.16%

CAMBODIA

--

--

23

0.03%

23

0.03%

CAMEROON

--

--

5

0.01%

5

0.01%

CENT AFRICA REPUBLIC

--

--

1

0.00%

1

0.00%

CHAD

--

--

2

0.00%

2

0.00%

CHINA

--

10

0.01%

10

0.01%

CONGO (Brazzaville)

--

--

6

0.01%

6

0.01%

CONGO (DROC)

--

--

256

0.38%

256

0.37%

CUBA

--

--

2942

4.33%

2942

4.30%

DJIBOUTI

--

--

12

0.02%

12

0.02%

EGYPT

--

--

8

0.01%

8

0.01%

ERITREA

--

--

109

0.16%

109

0.16%

ETHIOPIA

--

--

1432

2.11%

1432

2.09%

FORMER SOVIET UNION

--

--

14869

21.86%

14869

21.74%

THE GAMBIA

--

--

5

0.01%

5

0.01%

GHANA

--

--

1

0.00%

1

0.00%

GUINEA

--

--

4

0.01%

4

0.01%

HAITI

--

--

23

0.03%

23

0.03%

INDONESIA

--

--

5

0.01%

5

0.01%

IRAN

--

--

6581

9.68%

6581

9.62%

IRAQ

--

--

2473

3.64%

2473

3.62%

IVORY COAST

--

--

1

0.00%

1

0.00%

KENYA

--

--

13

0.02%

13

0.02%

LAOS

--

--

22

0.03%

22

0.03%

LEBANON

--

--

1

0.00%

1

0.00%

LIBERIA

--

--

3414

5.02%

3414

4.99%

LIBYA

--

--

5

0.01%

5

0.01%

MALAYSIA

--

--

5

0.01%

5

0.01%

MALDIVES

--

--

2

0.00%

2

0.00%

MAURITANIA

--

--

202

0.30%

202

0.30%

NAMIBIA

--

--

1

0.00%

1

0.00%

NIGERIA

--

--

81

0.12%

81

0.12%

PAKISTAN

--

--

3

0.00%

3

0.00%

POLAND

--

--

4

0.01%

4

0.01%

RWANDA

--

--

94

0.14%

94

0.14%

SIERRA LEONE

--

--

1999

2.94%

1999

2.92%

SOMALIA

--

--

4940

7.26%

4940

7.22%

SRI LANKA

--

--

2

0.00%

2

0.00%

SUDAN

--

--

5951

8.75%

5951

8.70%

SYRIA

--

--

8

0.01%

8

0.01%

TANZANIA

--

--

1

0.00%

1

0.00%

THAILAND

--

--

4

0.01%

4

0.01%

TOGO

--

--

276

0.41%

276

0.40%

TUNISIA

--

--

10

0.01%

10

0.01%

UGANDA

--

--

12

0.02%

12

0.02%

VIETNAM

378

100.00%

2730

4.01%

3108

4.54%

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

--

--

15773

23.19%

15773

23.06%

ZIMBABWE

--

--

6

0.01%

6

0.01%

TOTAL

378

--

68009

100.0%

68387

100.0%

NOTE:  Arrival figures do not reflect secondary migration.
Source:  Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement

Table VI
Estimated Costs of Refugee Processing, Movement, and Resettlement
FY 2002 and FY 2003 Estimates ($ Millions)
 

 

 Agency

Estimated
Funding
FY 2002
(by Activity)

Estimated
Funding
FY 2003
(by Activity)

Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service

Refugee Processing:

15.4

15.4

Department of State
Bureau for Population, Refugee, and Migration

Refugee Admissions:

100.0

130.0

Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement*

Refugee Resettlement:

460.2

452.7

Total

575.6

598.1

* Does not include costs associated with the Transitional Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or SSI programs. Eligibility for ORR's refugee services includes Cuban and Haitian Entrants, certain Amerasians from Vietnam, victims of a severe form of trafficking and some victims of torture. None of these additional groups is included in the refugee admissions ceiling

Table VII
Departure of UNHCR-Referred Refugees for Resettlement
From January 1 to December 31, 2001
By Resettlement Country

Resettlement Countries

Total

Percent
of
Total
admissions

Australia

2,552

8%

Canada

5,119

15%

Denmark

1,034

3%

Finland

746

2%

Netherlands

281

1%

Norway

1,792

5%

New Zealand

473

1%

Sweden

1,704

5%

Switzerland

5

0%

United States

18,342

55%

Other*

1,476

4%

Total

33,524

100%

 

* Principally to Belgium, Benin, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


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