More than 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including 21 million refugees who have crossed international borders in search of a safe haven. The United States long has accepted more refugees annually for resettlement than any other country, though the numbers represent a tiny portion of those awaiting resettlement around the globe. Yet that historical welcome is under challenge in ways not seen since the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, more than half of the nation’s governors announced opposition to the further resettlement of refugees in their states. And there are calls in Congress for major changes to the resettlement program, which will admit 85,000 refugees this fiscal year, even as defenders note that those under consideration for resettlement undergo more stringent security screening than all other would-be immigrants and travelers to the United States. This panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference discusses the policy and legal concerns raised by state and federal lawmakers about the resettlement of refugees, examines how the federal government and its humanitarian partners have responded to these concerns, and addresses the implications of these challenges for the future of a program that has resettled more than 3 million refugees since 1975. Speakers include T. Alexander Aleinikoff, former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees and Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School; Kevin Fandl, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at Fox School of Business, Temple University; Anna Greene, Policy and Advocacy Director for U.S. Programs at International Rescue Committee; and moderator Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies and Human Rights Institute and Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Refugee Resettlement in the United States: The Dawn of a New Era?