New State Department program lets private citizens directly sponsor refugees in US

New State Department program lets private citizens directly sponsor refugees in US
via AgnosticPreachersKid (CC BY-SA 3.0)

About 10,000 Americans will be able to sponsor around 5,000 refugees in the first year after the Welcome Corps' launch

January 20, 2023
A newly launched refugee sponsor program from the U.S. State Department will allow Americans to sponsor and assist refugees entering the United States.
Launched on Thursday, the new program, called Welcome Corps, aims to provide new service opportunities for Americans to “welcome refugees seeking freedom and safety and, in turn, make a difference in their own communities.”
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. State Department plans to give aid to 5,000 refugees with the help of 10,000 American sponsors in the program’s first pilot year.
Welcome Corps will receive its group of refugees in April, while private sponsors can help others living abroad relocate to the U.S. through the new program sometime in the future and refer them to the U.S. Refugee Assistance Program.
Hoang Trong Man, a Vietnamese man who fled to Thailand in 2018 due to his affiliation with an opposition group, celebrated the latest news when speaking to Radio Free Asia.

I am extremely happy as this program can help refugees like us get settled sooner. It brings hope to many people who have been living in Thailand as refugees for years.

The program would help asylum seekers looking to resettle in the U.S., with people coming from sub-Saharan African countries highest on the priority list.
Under the program, American sponsors who wish to sign up must commit to providing a minimum of $2,275 when sponsoring refugees privately, as explained in the Welcome Corps’ FAQs. The money will be used to secure and furnish housing for refugees and provide them with their basic needs until they secure employment.
Welcome Corps will also allow groups to sponsor individual refugees, who would then be processed through the standard U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. During this time, the Welcome Corps will reportedly serve as auxiliary support for the refugees.
Besides partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. State Department is also looking to widen its scope in partners outside the government.
The U.S. State Department is looking to strike up partnerships with “members of faith and civic groups, veterans, diaspora communities, businesses, colleges and universities, and more.”
The program follows a similar one launched in October 2021, in which Americans helped sponsor refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Under that program, as many as 800 people arrived in the U.S. with the help of 230 certified sponsors.
Former President Donald Trump slashed the maximum number of refugees the U.S. would accept under his administration to 15,000, but current President Joe Biden announced that the cap would be raised to 125,000.
Religious freedom activist Nguyen Van Hoang, who is now a refugee in Thailand with his wife and children, criticized the slow process of the latest development.
As you know, the Biden administration promised to receive 125,000 refugees coming from many countries, but this program has not been implemented or has been done very slowly,” he told Radio Free Asia.

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      Bryan Ke

      Bryan Ke
      is a Reporter for NextShark




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