Awareness - September 12, 2022 - We Welcome

Awareness - September 12, 2022

Approximately 6 million Ukrainians have returned home after initial displacement

The San Antonio Express-News reports that an estimated 6 million Ukrainians have returned home in recent months after being displaced internally or across borders by the Russian invasion. It’s estimated that 14 million people have been displaced in total since February, and 7 million of those have fled to other countries. The article also shares the stories of several Ukrainians who have chosen to return to their homes and rebuild from the damage of the war – as one of the interviewees put it, “we’re not going to let Putin decide our fate.” 

August refugee data shows a drop in admissions

The U.S. admitted 2,229 refugees in August, a 14% decline from July. With one month remaining in fiscal year 2022, this brings the total admissions for the year to 19,919. At this rate, we can expect to finish the year with approximately 21,730 refugee admissions. This is a mere 17% of the admissions ceiling, and would also fall 100,000 short of the 125,000 openings available.

Last week, President Biden submitted a report to Congress on Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2023, in which he proposed keeping the ceiling at 125,000 for next year as well. The proposal also suggests increasing the allocation for Europe and Central Asia from 10,000 to 15,000, and offsetting that increase by reducing the “unallocated reserve”. Another new proposal included in the report is a renewed focus on the U.S. leading international refugee resettlement efforts through a new Resettlement Diplomacy Network. This network would engage with other countries to expand and modernize resettlement programs and infrastructure.

August saw significant migration through the treacherous Darien Gap

Adam Isacson of WOLA shared data showing that 23,632 Venezuelans traveled through the Darien Gap in August. This year has seen significant levels of migration through the treacherous jungle path. Over 100,000 people are reported to have made that journey so far in 2022 as Panama appears poised to surpass its former record of migration through that pathway. As options for regular migration continue to remain very limited, we see increasing numbers of people seeking to migrate through dangerous pathways such as the Darien Gap. For more on the dangerous route through the Darien Gap, this PBS NewsHour reports greater details on the journey.