RUNNING HEAD: Refugee Resettlement Process and Barriers
Refugee Resettlement Process and Barriers
Grand Valley State University
Over 3 million refugees have been resettled by the United States since 1975 (Bruno, 2013; Mirza, Luna, Mathews, Hasnain, Herbert, Niebauer, & Mishra, 2013). The Displaced Person Act of 1948 was the first refugee legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress. The aftermath of World War 2 provoked the U.S. to create such a policy, which allowed them to admit an additional 400,000 displaced Europeans (“History,” 2013). The U.S. Office or Refugee Resettlement (2013) defines a refugee as any person who is outside of their country of origin and is unable or unwilling to return due to fear or persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion (p. 1). A thorough assessment procedure is done on each possible refugee to ensure they meet the criteria set by the U.S. government. Asylum may also be granted to those already residing in or near the U.S. who meet the definition of refugee. Once refugees are resettled in the U.S. they are granted refugee status for one year; after one year they are required to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status (Bruno, 2013, p. 1). Each year the President provides a consultation document to the House of Representative and Congress proposing the refugee ceiling as well the admittance amount by region for the upcoming year. The refugee ceiling for 2013 was 70,000, the highest it has been in the last 10 years is 80,000 (Bruno, 2013, p. 3).
Once admitted refugees receive services under an initial transitional assistance program, they receive refugee cash (RCA), refugee medical assistance (RMA), and social services for eight months after entry. RCA and RMA are provided through the state, after the eight months refugees are eligible for federal assistance programs such as TANF, Medicaid, SNAP...