An update on national and local news, and details for upcoming events
An update on national and local news, and details for upcoming events
Catholic Family Center
Newsletter #11

Greetings Friends of Refugee Resettlement,

After an almost 2 month hiatus, the Refugee Newsletter is back! Today’s newsletter includes national and local updates as well as some upcoming events.
National News
Refugee resettlement across the U.S. has continued with fairly steady if not robust numbers of arrivals over the past 3 months. As of May 24th the United States admitted 45,172 refugees and 12,059 SIVs this fiscal year*:  
2017 YOY SIV arrivals Oct'16-April'17
*SIV arrivals data for May is not yet available
Currently, there are 101,352 refugees in the overseas pipeline (45,999 who are awaiting an interview with USCIS and 55,353 who have been approved by USCIS); only 6% of refugees are ready for travel (6,303 individuals) to the United States, which is the lowest in percentage and volume that have been travel ready in the past year. The NY Times recently published an article that provides a good explanation of what is going on behind the scenes in regard to the refugee overseas pipeline. 
In short, the falling refugee arrival numbers since January were largely the result of the Administration’s aims to curtail refugee resettlement that were embodied in the Administration’s Executive Orders on refugees and foreign travel. Although implementation of the EO’s were halted by federal courts, these moves still had the effect of slowing arrivals. This, combined with Congressional budget constraints and the Department of Homeland Security’s slower processing of security checks, drove the State Department’s setting an expectation for refugee arrivals of about 900 individuals per week over the past 3 months. However, now with the refugee program being fully funded by Congress and the continued stay on the Administration’s Executive Orders, the State Department is projecting that up to 1,500 refugees could be resettled in the U.S. per week for the remainder of the federal fiscal year. Very good news, at least for the remainder of this federal fiscal year. It’s still too early to see what the 2018 fiscal year will have in store for the U.S Refugee Program. However, the Administration’s intent seems very clear and our collective advocacy later this year will be critical if we are to maintain a healthy refugee program.  
The legal battle over the Administration’s Executive Orders continues…On May 25th, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the travel ban and refugee admission limitations should be kept on hold, maintaining a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking key elements of the executive order from being enforced. In response to that ruling, the Administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene immediately and let the Executive Orders go into effect. Here’s a more detailed summary from the Chicago Tribune on this legal battlefront that also offers a few different scenarios on how this may be handled by the Supreme Court. 
Rochester Refugee Arrivals
Inclusive of refugees, SIVs and Cubans, CFC resettled 51 and 48 individuals in April and May respectively. A report charting arrivals for 2017 year to date is available here. Despite the news in the above section, CFC is still projecting between 40 and 60 individuals arriving to Rochester for the upcoming months. While the national news is encouraging, we have not yet seen increases in travel bookings for the refugees in our pipeline and until we do start to see an uptick there, our projections will remain static.
Thanks go out to our Congresswoman Louise Slaughter for her support to the refugee program and her signing on to a House Letter last month urging the Administration to rescind the Executive Orders that would have halted the refugee program. The letter signed by 106 Democratic House members is available here.  
Upcoming Events
***** Rochester World Refugee Day *****
When: Saturday, June 17th 2pm - 6pm
Where: Parade from Washington Square at 2pm to City Hall, followed by events at Jones Square Park in the Edgerton Neighborhood of the City of Rochester (intersection of Jones Ave. and Plymouth St.)
Description: Event hosted by Rochester Global Refugee Services. United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict, and violence. Learn more
***** United with Music Benefit Concert*****
When: Sunday, June 25th,  3pm - 6pm
Where: Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word 597 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
Description: An exciting event celebrating the diversity and beauty of our community through music. All proceeds to benefit Refugees Helping Refugees. For more information including a list of performers, go their website    
As always, thanks you for your continued support!
Jim Morris
Vice President, Family Services
Catholic Family Center
A regional agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester
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