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In the News: July 30, 2012

2012 July 30

Proposed Cuts to Refugee Resettlement
Funding Would be Disastrous

United Nations blogger Una Moore, warns that pending U.S. legislation could impose drastic cuts in support for the resettlement of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war, torture and abuse in their home countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Eritrea, and many others.
            The budget proposed for next fiscal year by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services would cut this FY’s allocation for the already underfunded Office of Refugee Resettlement by $112 million.

[The cuts] will have a devastating effect on refugees, Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa recipients, victims of torture and trafficking, unaccompanied immigrant children and other vulnerable populations, as well as communities across the country that welcome these populations.
                                                 — U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants:
                                                      “Protect Refugee Funding

The nine organizations responsible under ORR contracts to help new Americans through the resettlement process are already struggling to meet their needs, and the new cuts would hit them hard.  One of the leading groups, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, has mounted an urgent online appeal to Congress not to go through with the cuts.
            Most Americans are barely, if at all, aware of this small but politically and morally crucial component of the overall immigration program, which last year gave more than 56,000 refugees from twenty different countries – some of the world’s most persecuted and oppressed individuals – a chance for a better life. 

Resettlement field offices, largely located in America’s poorest cities, have endured years of crisis-level funding shortfalls and staffing shortages, with no relief in sight…[A]s is, many refugees receive only the bare minimum of support following their arrival in the United States, leaving unmet pressing needs like mental health care and extended case management for refugees with disabilities…And local non-profits simply aren’t able to fill all of the gaps…If the proposed 2013 cuts go through, refugees will face an even rougher start to life in America than they do now.
                                                 — Una Moore, U.N. Dispatch

(USCRI Photo above)



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