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HomeAsiaU.S. launches private refugee sponsorship program

U.S. launches private refugee sponsorship program

'Quick read' news summary

The U.S. State Department launched a new program on Thursday called the Welcome Corps that will allow Americans to privately sponsor refugees applying to move to the United States. The program, formed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, plans to place 5,000 refugees with 10,000 American sponsors in its first pilot year, a State Department press release said. The State Department plans to partner with “members of faith and civic groups, veterans, diaspora communities, businesses, colleges and universities, and more.”

The U.S. State Department launched a new program on Thursday called the Welcome Corps that will allow Americans to privately sponsor refugees applying to move to the United States.

The program, formed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, plans to place 5,000 refugees with 10,000 American sponsors in its first pilot year, a State Department press release said.  

It is intended to “enable Americans to sponsor refugees … directly support their resettlement, and make a difference by welcoming these new neighbors into their communities,” it said. 

The State Department plans to partner  with “members of faith and civic groups, veterans, diaspora communities, businesses, colleges and universities, and more.”

Vietnamese Hoang Trong Man, who fled to Thailand in 2018 to avoid a crackdown by security forces as part of his membership in an opposition political group, said he hoped the new program would enable him and other asylum-seekers to immigrate to the United States.

“I am extremely happy as this program can help refugees like us get settled sooner,” he told Radio Free Asia. “It brings hope to many people who have been living in Thailand as refugees for years.”

Asylum-seekers in Thailand face the risk of arrest and detention in Thai  immigration detention centers because the Thai government has not signed the International Convention on Refugees, he said.

Former President Donald Trump had slashed the cap on refugees allowed into the United States to 15,000. The administration of President Joe Biden has raised that number to 125,000. 

Small groups could sponsor a refugee

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