This report on the US Refugee Resettlement Program details the program’s history and highlights the need for increased support during an era of mass forced migration caused by widespread violence, poverty, climate change, and other devastating emergencies. At a time when nearly one out of every 100 people in the world is displaced from their homes—the highest proportion since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees began collecting data on displaced persons in 1951—the US has a unique capacity to support and assist these marginalized populations.
The US is a key player in the international refugee system but serious threats to the US refugee resettlement program could undermine its commitment and, in turn, put the international system at risk.
The report provides a brief overview of how the US refugee resettlement program fits within the international refugee protection system, analyzes the tensions facing the US resettlement program, and discusses how the US can reaffirm its commitment to refugee protection during a pivotal juncture for international refugee protection. The report reaffirms that the US can and should play a stronger and more inclusive role in protecting and welcoming refugees, while also highlighting serious threats to its capabilities and effectiveness in today’s turbulent times.