The U.S has launched a groundbreaking initiative that could pave the way for a colossal shift in U.S Refugee policy this is this is a major change because Secretary of State Anthony blinken announced a pilot program that would allow Americans to financially sponsor the resettlement of refugees secretary blanken called the so-called welcome.
Corps initiative quote The boldest Innovation and Refugee resettlement in decades less than a dozen non-profits with Federal funding have resettled the majority of refugees brought to the U.S for the past several years refugees arriving under the sponsorship initiative will be eligible for permanent legal status and ultimately.
U.S citizenship joining us now to discuss this is CBS News immigration reporter Camila Montoya Galvez there in our Washington Bureau always great to see you Camillo give some more of the details of this program it sounds Innovative but what what does this mean so if there's someone watching now who wants to be one of these private.
Citizens sponsoring a refugee how would that happen hi Earl and Lana this really is a major change in U.S Refugee and resettlement policy under this program which is really modeled after a long-standing system in Canada groups of at least five American citizens or permanent legal residents will be able to sponsor.
Refugees If they raise enough money pass background checks and develop a plan describing how they will help these newcomers approved sponsors will then be responsible for helping these refugees during their first 90 days here in the U.S financially and they will be in charge of helping these refugees enroll children in schools and secure basic.
Necessities like housing food jobs and other public benefits and and basic necessities that's the key change in this program that it will allow private citizens to replace the traditional Refugee resettlement agencies that have his toric quickly resettled the vast majority of refugees fleeing war and violence who have been resettled here in.
The U.S and the administration really helps Lana and Errol that this will reduce the pressure on the government and on these resettlement agencies and allow groups like churches and diaspora communities to really step up and directly welcome refugees here in the U.S and lastly this is really the latest effort by the Biden Administration to.
Expand legal migration opportunities for refugees and migrants who have sponsors here in the U.S under a program launched last year more than a hundred thousand ukrainians would U.S sponsors have been able to come here since the Russian invasion of their Homeland yeah it's really a fascinating idea I know that there are a lot of churches and Civic.
Groups and synagogues Etc that have been interested in helping out but now it's making it official and taking the responsibility off of people who maybe don't want who feel like they don't want to be sponsoring uh these refugees through their tax dollars but how many people is the US government hoping or how many sponsors rather is U.S.
Government hoping to actually solicit because the number of people crossing over is significant that's a critical question the state department is hoping to recruit at least 10 000 American citizens to sponsor and resettle 5 000 refugees during the first year of this program we know that refugees are now coming to the U.S with.
Some of these processes and they will be able to get that assistance from private sponsors starting in April once this Refugee process is expanded prospective sponsors will actually get the ability to identify refugees overseas whom they want to sponsor and help them resettle here in the U.S but for this initial stage prospective sponsors Lana and.
Arrow will be matched with refugees who are already in the resettlements pipeline and who are ready to come here to the U.S right now if you are interested in learning more about this process and potentially sponsoring a refugee you can go to welcomecorp.org and find out more about this process really interesting we'll.
Have to see how it works all right Camilo thank you
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