International Refugee Issues
HIAS believes that the United States should do all it can to provide safe haven to refugees who seek protection and have no other options. Sufficient funding is necessary to ensure that refugees can be resettled and that those who come to the U.S. — many of whom have experienced extreme trauma — receive the services and support they need.
EAST AFRICA – Continued food shortages and violent conflict on the Horn of Africa has led to a refugee and humanitarian crisis. The UNHCR refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya – the world’s largest – hosts 460,000 refugees in three camps that were built to house 90,000. Close to 1,300 refugees per day, mostly from Somalia, try to enter Dadaab each day. Across the region, an estimated 13 million are designated as “in need” of food aid. In addition to the refugees in Dadaab, Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, hosts 50,000 “people of concern” to UNHCR. More than 80,000 refugees and asylum seekers reside in Kakuma Camp in the Rift Valley Province, including more than 43,000 Somalis.
COLOMBIA – Colombia’s nearly 50-year long armed conflict between guerillas, paramilitaries, and the Colombian armed forces has resulted in the displacement of over four million Colombians in the last two decades. Approximately 500,000 Colombian refugees have fled to neighboring countries throughout the region, and many remain in need of durable solutions, particularly as local integration and safe return to Colombia remain impossible.
Although the President set the refugee resettlement ceiling at 80,000 in FY 2011, due to security screening delays and denials, the number resettled decreased to only 56,424 refugees. For FY 2012, the President has set the ceiling at 76,000 refugees. Based on current resettlement numbers for FY 2012, the U.S. will not come close to resettling this number of refugees, and may even resettle fewer than last year.
- HIAS' Testimony on the Refugee Admissions Program - May 1, 2012
- HIAS Policy Resolution on Refugee Protection: Providing Safe Assistance to the World's Most Vulnerable - June 28, 2005