WASHINGTON—U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a statement Monday regarding Syrian refugee processing to the United States. The statement sheds light on the refugee resettlement process, in light of the massive refugee crisis gripping Syria and its neighboring countries.
“The ongoing conflict in Syria has resulted in an influx of 3.3 million refugees to the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey,” the statement reads. “Current law only allows resettlement of limited number of refugees through the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). USRAP does not accept applications directly from the refugees abroad, their families in the U.S., or private organizations. The only mechanism for inclusion in the USRAP is by registering directly with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country in which the refugees currently reside,” the statement explains.
“Individuals should only trust information about the refugee resettlement program from responsible government entities. In order to obtain the most up-to-date information, I urge the residents of my district to contact my office at (818) 450-2900 or (323) 315-5555,” the statement adds.
Rep. Schiff notes that there are no fees associated with the UNHCR registration process.
Rep. Schiff also notes in his statement that refugee resettlements are an arduous and long process and registering with UNHCR and subsequently being referred to USRAP does not guarantee that the refugee applicant will be approved for resettlement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A list of UNHCR offices abroad can be found at the UNHCR website.
According to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Bureau of Population, Refugee, and Migration, the U.S. accepted 105 Syrian refugees during Fiscal Year 2014 and 164 thus far during Fiscal Year 2015.