U.S. Refugee Program Needs Major Overhaul According to New Analysis from NPG

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Special Immigrant Visas Could Provide a Viable Option


The bottom line is that the United States is well on its way towards over-population due to immigration.

Negative Population Growth, Inc. has released a new Forum paper, Rethinking U.S. Refugee Policy, written by Edwin S. Rubenstein. On par with today’s “Refugee Policy” headlines, Rubenstein’s paper highlights the importance of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), takes a critical look at our current refugee policies, and posits the biggest winners and losers of a stronger SIV program.

Rubenstein begins his paper summarizing the recent policy changes, stating: “The Trump administration recently announced a number of changes in the nation’s refugee policy. They include a lower cap on refugee admissions, restricting the UN’s roll in selecting refugees, and allowing state and local governments to opt out of the program altogether.” He goes on to explain the process of chain migration and the aftermath of the Immigration Act of 1965, noting: “So while the President, with great fanfare, slashes the annual refugee cap, refugees already here – aided and abetted by federal refugee bureaucracies and resettlement NGOs – set the long-term trajectory of U.S. population growth.” The bottom line is that the United States is well on its way towards over-population due to immigration.

Rubenstein goes on to talk about Special Immigrant Visas, saying: “Since 2009 SIVs have been granted to citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan who work alongside the U.S. military in war zones. Visa holders include translators, drivers, doctors, engineers, and intelligence specialists who provide the street smarts vital to the success of U.S. troops. Compared to legal immigrants and refugees, their numbers are small.” Due to the fact that there are fewer SIVs available each year, the process of receiving access to one is extremely difficult. Rubenstein further explains: “…the State Department does not have enough resources to vet SIV applicants and refugees in a timely manner.” And, he surmises: “Replacing the current refugee program with an SIV only regime could help fix this problem.”

Zeroing in on immigration policy, in general, Rubenstein describes the current situation, saying: “The administration is discouraging immigration even in the case of people who put their lives on the line for Americans.” Also stating: “The immigration bureaucracy is too small, and too slow, to adequately vet conventional (non-war) refugees and SIV applicants.” And, again he points to the idea of replacing the current 40 year old refugee program with a more targeted program for SIVs.

Rubenstein believes this proposed change is a step in the right direction while also acknowledging that it would hurt some and help others, noting: “Humanitarian efforts should be concentrated where they can help the most people: in the camps near the home country and in clearing barriers for refugees to go home. This is in sync with the current administration’s policy.” He then questions the infallibility of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), commenting: “Under current policy we choose refugees for resettlement from amongst those vetted and referred to us by UNHCR. The UN personnel assigned this task are often citizens of the countries where they are working, usually in poor regions of political and economic unrest. Placement in a rich country’s refugee pool is a very hot ticket for their clients.” He goes on to point out: “By terminating UNHCR as a factor in refugee policy we level the playing field for all refugees.”

NPG President Donald Mann applauded the new Forum paper, saying: “Rubenstein was able to present the necessary justification for a stronger SIV program and skillfully communicates the potential outcome for the parties already involved. We must be willing to amend out-of-date policies and programs that no longer benefit the well-being of our country and its citizens. In order to move forward and work towards a livable future, we must slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth and for that kind of progress to occur the discussion absolutely must include dramatic changes to U.S. immigration policy.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at http://www.NPG.org, follow us on Facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.

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Craig Lewis
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