US: New Program Lets Private Citizens Sponsor Refugees

    US: New Program Lets Private Citizens Sponsor Refugees
    Last updated Jan 20, 2023
    Image credit: AP [via Border Report]


    • On Thursday, the Biden administration announced a new program — dubbed the "Welcome Corps" — to allow groups of private citizens to sponsor refugees to live in the United States.
    • According to the State Department, five or more Americans could form a group and apply to privately sponsor refugees fleeing violence or persecution to resettle in the US. This would complement the role currently being played by refugee resettlement nonprofits.
    • These groups will be required to raise a minimum of $2,275 per sponsored refugee to support their resettlement over the first 90 days in the country. The government seeks to find 10K sponsors for 5K refugees by the end of the 2023 fiscal year, ending on Sept. 30.
    • Sponsors will be expected to pass security vetting, create a support plan, and take care of the refugees' basic needs, including covering apartment security deposits, clothing, and furniture costs, as well as finding schools.
    • A consortium of non-profit resettlement organizations will also provide support services, including expertise and training to the selected groups of private citizens.
    • This comes as, according to the State Department, the US admitted 6,750 refugees from October to December — three months into the fiscal year. For FY 2023, the Biden administration set the ceiling at 125K.


    Democratic narrative

    Biden’s latest refugee program is forward-thinking and could accelerate lagging refugee admissions in the United States. Allowing Americans to play an active role in the immigration process will enable American citizens to support a critical humanitarian mission. Furthermore, a private refugee sponsorship program could reduce government costs and help revive the US economy after COVID.

    Republican narrative

    This isn't a compassionate refugee program, it's another tactic to bring in more new immigrants — aka frequent Democrat voters — into the US. The US has already accepted 1M refugees over the past 20 years, most of whom then pursue green cards and eventually citizenship. Programs like this cost Americans billions of dollars a year and, more importantly, inorganically shift the electoral landscape.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance at least 186K refugees will be admitted to the US from 2021 to 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.