How about if we crowdsource some opportunities to help the refugees?
Mousebumples sent me this from the Wisconsin Department Children and Families: How Can I Help?
If you have any information, add it below.
Update: I have added a link to this thread in the sidebar under Do Something! – it’s called Helping Refugees.
Update 2: Information (just below) from PavlovsMan, who has been working with refugees for a few years.
The R&P program is funded by the State Dept, and administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). These folks have cooperative agreements with the 9 VOLAGs, which will get federal $,. Each VOLAG has affiliates in different parts of the country, and refugees are allocate to the VOLAGs by PRM. These affiliates handle the actual reception and placement of refugees, and are overseen by the VOLAG of which they’re an affiliate.
Refugees who are selected for resettlement in the US through U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and cases get allocated to a VOLAG’s affiliate by the VOLAG. Allocation is dependent on performance, and how easily the case can become self-sufficient. Obviously, places where folks who speak no English can easily get jobs are better… think meat-processing, low tech manufacturing, warehouses, etc
Each case consists of the Primary Applicant, and their family members, and will get $975 per person. That’s it. The program lasts for 90 days, during which the resettlement agency helps find an apartment in advance, furnishes and sets it up. They receive the refugee family, help them get social security cards, food stamps, state ID, etc. The local affiliates try and raise money from corporate donors, churches, etc, but there’s no guarantee. They also help get the refugee jobs.
After the 90 day period is over, the feds don’t really care. They refugees then get help and support from the local resettlement agency, which can get funding from the state, as part of Refugee Support Services, can lasts from day 91 through the end of the 5th year from date of arrival.
There is another additional program through HHS, which is called Matching Grant. Basically, the affiliate has to raise $1 for every $2 federal. The support is much better for this, but the case has to be self-sufficient within 6 months, or the affiliate gets slammed, jeopardizing their ability to enroll more MG cases. The documentation for this is brutally difficult, and some agencies are wary about it. (I administered this for the agency I was working in, for two years, in addition to finding the refugees jobs.)
SIVs, Special Immigrant Visas are a separate category. This is for folks who helped US force with interpreting, etc. They don’t come through UNHCR, but are essentially refugees in every other respect.
Hope this helps. (This is a very bare bones, minimalist description of the process, so…)