USCIS Refugee Affairs Division. May 2013

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1 USCIS Refugee Affairs Division May 2013

2 Refugee Affairs Division Refugee Affairs Division s (RAD) primary mission is to offer resettlement opportunities to refugees in accordance with U.S. law and international obligations. RAD s mission essential functions are to: Conduct interviews overseas with refugee applicants identified for possible resettlement to the United States and conduct protection screening interviews for migrants interdicted at sea. Work in close cooperation with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the Department of State, in order to support the annual number of refugee admissions determined by the President. Ensure the integrity of adjudications through liaison with anti-fraud, law enforcement, intelligence, and national security colleagues. 2

3 RAD Organizational Structure Refugee Affairs Division Special Assistant Barbara L. Strack Division Chief Staff Assistant Anne Chiorazzi Acting Deputy Chief HQ Program Staff Training & Quality Assurance Security Vetting Program Integrity Policy & Regional Operations Overseas Operations Domestic Operations Policy and Analysis Africa Desk 8 Supervisory Refugee Officers 7 Supervisory Refugee Officers Domestic SRO Asia Desk Domestic Issues Desk 58 Refugee Officers Europe/Middle East Desk Carribean & Americas Desk 3

4 Role of USCIS in the USRAP USCIS officers conduct personal interviews with applicants to determine eligibility, generally with an interpreter. Pursuant to the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA), all refugee adjudicators must complete specialized training. Refugee Corps established in FY2006; processing demands supplemented by Asylum Corps and other specially-trained USCIS adjudicators. 4

5 USCIS REFUGEE INTERVIEW LOCATIONS FISCAL YEAR COUNTRIES TOTAL Europe & Central Asia (15) Austria Moldova Azerbaijan Romania Germany Russia Greece Slovakia Italy Tajikistan Malta Turkey Kyrgyzstan Ukraine Uzbekistan Latin America & Caribbean (5) Argentina Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Ecuador Africa (26) Algeria Kenya Benin Malawi Botswana Morocco Burundi Mozambique Cameroon Rwanda Congo, D.R. South Africa Congo, Rep Sudan Djibouti Togo Egypt Tanzania Ethiopia Tunisia Eritrea Uganda Gabon Zambia Ghana Zimbabwe Near East & South Asia (14) Bahrain Nepal India Oman Iraq Pakistan Israel Qatar Jordan Saudi Arabia Kuwait Sri Lanka Lebanon U.A.E. East Asia (6) China Hong Kong Malaysia Philippines Thailand Vietnam

6 Worldwide Statistics FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 Allocated Ceiling 75,000 75,000 77,000 70,000 67,000 Applicants Interviewed 110,000 95,000 79,952 76,750 31,960 (as of 3/31) Actual Admissions 74,654 73,311 56,424 58,238 34,242 (as of 3/31) FY Accomplishments: Deployed approximately 105 officers per quarter in FY 2012 and the first half of FY Improved and streamlined security check procedures to mitigate the effect on refugee admissions without compromising integrity/security. Established and implemented IAC processing framework Harmonized validity periods of security checks Removed routine re-interview requirement Electronic resubmission of fingerprints 6

7 FY Accomplishments Modify the I-590 refugee application to consolidate and streamline existing forms, creating greater efficiency in processing Content of Form finalized Publication in Federal Register for comment imminent Finalize revisions of key decision notices and disseminate translations in 6 leading languages: Translations completed and roll-out imminent New language for discretionary denials Conduct quality assurance review of I-590s and Requests For Review (RFRs) 7

8 Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds TRIG exemption authority obtained in FY2012: Voluntary provision of medical care Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Individuals involved in 1991 Iraqi uprisings against the Hussein regime Limited General Exemption (LGE) USCIS has granted nearly 15,500 TRIG exemptions to date, more than 11,700 to refugee applicants.

9 FY2013 Challenges and Initiatives Access to refugee applicants and uncertain security situation overseas. Continued focus on improving and streamlining security checks. Increased processing needs in Baghdad, Iraq. P-3 Re-launch Develop a global implementation plan for collecting fingerprints preinterview Photo courtesy of UNHCR Health and safety concerns of officers. 9

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