White House Attempts To Circumvent Refugee Numerical Caps

by Marguerite Telford –
Center For Immigration Studies (CIS) –

WH Looks to Private Sector to Increase Admissions

WASHINGTON, DC (July 8, 2016) — The Obama administration is seeking alternative pathways to admit more Syrian refugees, beyond the pledged 10,000 who are on track to enter the country via the refugee resettlement program by the end of the fiscal year, September 30th. The White House announced on June 30th a “‘Call to Action’ for the U.S. private sector to stand with the administration and make new, measurable, and significant commitments that will have a durable impact on refugees residing in countries on the frontlines of the global refugee crisis and in countries of resettlement, like the United States.”

U.S. humanitarian assistance to the Syrian crisis reached $5.1 billion this year, but the administration wants private enterprise and the public to do more in addressing refugees’ needs in the areas of education, employment and enablement. As part of this “Call to Action”, the administration has launched a new website called Partnership for Refugees. Fifteen founding companies are joining the president in this effort: Accenture, Airbnb, Chobani, Coursera, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co., LinkedIn, Microsoft, Mastercard, UPS, TripAdvisor, and Western Union.

Read the entire CIS analysis at: http://cis.org/rush/white-house-recruits-private-sector-increase-refugee-admissions

These companies will, for instance, establish scholarship funds to support access to higher education for refugees, provide free flights, textbooks, and housing assistance to refugees who are traveling to the United States to attend college, create job opportunities for refugees, and provide refugees with technical assistance and capital to allow them to start their own businesses.

Companies like Chobani have formed partnerships with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), pledging to hire refugees. Chobani’s commitment has resulted in refugees comprising roughly 30 percent of its manufacturing workforce.

Nayla Rush, Ph.D., a senior researcher at the Center and author of the analysis said, “The U.S. will not be able to track the number of refugees coming in through these pathways, which are outside the U.S. resettlement program and its numerical cap and mandatory oversight.” She continued, “Let us not forget that at the upcoming Refugee Summit, President Obama will be asking world leaders to double the number of slots available to refugees through resettlement and ‘alternative legal pathways’. It’s unlikely the president will be asking this of others, if he is not willing to do the same if not more on the domestic front.”

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org

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