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13 December 2013

U.S. Refugee Affairs - Our Work Over the Past Year

This past year, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) had its best performance since the program was established by the Refugee Act of 1980. After traveling across the world and adjudicating about 72,000 refugee claims, USRAP admitted 69,930 refugees, which was 99.9% of the allotted 70,000 for FY 2013.

USRAP is an interagency effort that relies on strong U.S. government and nongovernment partnerships and cooperation to achieve success.

USCIS’ Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations (RAIO) Directorate is deeply involved in the program, working closely with other Department of Homeland Security components, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and the law enforcement and intelligence communities to ensure the integrity of the resettlement program. In addition, RAIO values its collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and international and domestic nongovernmental organizations.

Most of the FY 2013 interviews were conducted by RAIO – including the Refugee Corps, International Operations’ overseas staff, volunteers from the Asylum Division and well-trained USCIS employees on detail assignments.

For refugees, resettlement to the United States brings safety, freedom and opportunity. Iraqis now represent the largest number of refugee admissions, with 19,491 refugees arriving in FY 2013, including over 7,000 U.S.-affiliated individuals from Baghdad. Large-scale resettlement of Burmese refugees from Thailand and Malaysia, and Bhutanese refugees from Nepal continued, along with the arrival of thousands of Somalis and Cubans. African refugees increased substantially to 16,000 people from more than 20 nations.

The President set the refugee admissions ceiling at 70,000 again for FY 2014. Despite the growing challenges in global operations, RAIO looks forward to another successful year of reaching refugees in need of international protection.

Please visit our Web pages to learn more about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program or our Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations work.

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