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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 > 2004
The United States Refugee Admissions Program: Reforms for a New Era of Refugee Resettlement  

The United States Refugee Admissions Program: Reforms for a New Era of Refugee Resettlement [html format]

By David A. Martin
July 8, 2004

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Consolidated Recommendations

Preface and Acknowledgments

Glossary of Acronyms


Chapter I. The Context

A. Obstacles, barriers, and possible reasons against resettlement initiatives
1. Pull factors, migration choices, and host country considerations
2. Effects on other possible durable solutions
3. Other political effects, including equity concerns
4. Fraud, distortion, and corruption
5. Definitional issues
6. Complexity and luck
7. Toward a future of case-by-case decisions to resettle finite groups

B. Fundamental choices for the U.S. Refugee Program: aims and nature
1. Immediate rescue from grave danger vs. rescue from a wider range of harms
2. The resource competition between assistance and resettlement
3. The Presidential Determination: a ceiling or a target?
Table I-1. Refugee Admissions and Ceilings, FY 1980 - 2004

Annex to Chapter I. Resettlement of The Somali Bantu

Chapter II. Reforming the System for Deciding on Resettlement Initiatives

A. The scale of the challenge
Table II-1. Refugee Admissions by Priority, FY 1994 - 2003
Table II-2. Refugee Admissions for Family-Based Categories, FY 1994 - 2003

B. PRMís role
1. Overview
2. For the future

C. The involvement of the rest of the Department of State

D. Suggested procedure for deciding on group initiatives
1. Refugee Admissions Committee
2. Refugee Admissions Committee procedures
3. Advantages
4. Assuring timely completion of the full Presidential Determination process

Chapter III. The Priority System for Access to the Admissions Program and Arrangements for Urgent Cases

A. Overview of the priorities|
1. The P-1 category: UNHCR and embassy referrals
2. The P-2 category: groups of special humanitarian concern
3. Categories P-3 through P-5, plus Visas 93: family-based access

B. Broad restructuring of the priority system?
1. The Frelick proposal
2. Evaluation and recommendation for more modest revision

C. Individual referrals
1. UNHCR referrals
2. US embassy referral
3. NGO referrals

D. Group access

E. Family-based priorities, including issues of processing bottlenecks and of fraud
1. The Visas-93 process for immediate family following to join
2. P-3 processing
3. A universal P-3 category?
4. Functional family relationships

F. Urgent cases
1. General considerations
2. Proposals for a universal in-country designation

Chapter IV. The Role of the Department of Homeland Security

A. The need for a better structure to resolve Department-wide refugee and immigration policy
B. Issues affecting individual adjudications
C. Deployment of circuit ride teams and the security of interviewing sites
D. The Refugee Corps

Chapter V. Operational Issues and an Overview of the Resettlement Process

A. The basic process
Figure V-1. US Refugee Admission Process
1. Access
2. OPE case preparation
3. Security screening
4. DHS interview
5. Medical screening, sponsor assurances, and cultural orientation
6. Travel, port-of-entry procedures, and arrival at the destination

B. Overall observations: the need for a resolutely managerial approach

C. Specific operational recommendations
1. Overseas Processing Entities
2. Training and preparation of interviewing officers
3. The use of interpreters
4. Requests for reconsideration
5. Security screening
7. Processing at the port of entry
8. Adjustment of status

Chapter VI. The Role of the Office of the UNHCR

A. Background
1. The evolution of UNHCR's approach
2. The UNHCR role in the U.S. program

B. UNHCR's development of a group referral capacity
C. Improving refugee registration

Chapter VII. Statutory Amendments

A. Provide for continued refugee movements at the beginning of the fiscal year, even if the Presidential Determination is delayed
B. Allow congressional consultation by both Cabinet secretaries and deputy secretaries
C. Repeal the ceiling on asylee adjustments
D. Reconsider the ceiling on refugee and asylee status grants based on coercive population control measures
E. Consider admitting overseas refugees as lawful permanent residents
F. Allow the President to designate specific classes of persons to be admitted as Section 207 refugees without individually applying the Convention refugee definition

Annex to Chapter VII. Statutory Amendment Governing Refugee Admissions Under INA ē 207

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