Challenges Facing the US Refugee Protection System

Image c/o IIP Digital / US Dept of State

The US refugee protection system has long been a source of national pride and a symbol of US openness to the world’s dispossessed.   This system seeks to enable those fleeing persecution to reach protection, while preventing terrorist and criminal infiltration; to admit vulnerable refugees and to promote their successful integration; to screen out fraudulent political asylum claims and to ensure that legitimate claims receive a fair hearing and review; and to weigh constant requests for temporary protection from groups and individuals within and outside the United States.  Over the last 20 years, security and enforcement concerns have driven US refugee developments and protection policies have not kept pace.

The Refugee Survey Quarterly (RSQ) has recently published an article by Donald Kerwin titledThe Faltering US Refugee Protection System: Legal and Policy Responses to Refugees, Asylum-Seekers, and Others in Need of Protection.”  Appearing in a special RSQ edition on “protracted displacement, the article outlines the challenges facing the US refugee protection system, defined broadly to include refugees, asylum-seekers, and others seeking protection in the United States.  The article updates and builds upon an earlier report, with the same title, published by the Migration Policy Institute as part of a joint project with the European University Institute.

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