The Weekly Round-Up
The Weekly Round-Up
Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we take a walk in the shoes of Austrian refugees, learn about a compromise for resettlement in Europe, look into how the definition of a refugee can change in different regions and question what the future of resettlement looks like in the United States. There are many rumors and fears that are associated with refugee resettlement, but understanding what they face in their home countries and the hoops they have to jump through when they are resettled helps us truly understand the situation. The U.S. is a leader in refugee resettlement and aid, and it is important that we understand what is at stake when making decisions about how to advocate.
In order to combat rumors and fear-mongering, a startup in Vienna, Austria called Shades Tours created a Flight, Asylum & Integration walking tour of the city, bringing the public face to face with the realities of life as a refugee. The tour walks guests through the train station and temporary housing, giving them knowledge and experience of the refugee existence.
The Germans ended a dispute amongst its political parties about how to deal with refugees who arrive at their border by creating an agreement to send refugees back to Greece if they have already applied for asylum there. Similar agreements were agreed with Spain and Italy, but it is unclear what will be done for the refugees who return.
Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice responded to an article that claimed he and his organization was trying to strip Palestinians of their refugee status, arguing that he merely wants the definition of a refugee to apply to all refugees, including those displaced from Palestine. As the number of refugees as defined by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has grown, he is advocating for the organization to make sure these refugees get resettled.
Big decisions await Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he and the administration determine whether to continue to slash refugee resettlement numbers and possibly eliminate the State Department’s refugee bureau. Time will tell whether or not the United States will continue to be the top donor to refugee causes and to lead all other countries in resettlement for the world’s 25 million displaced people.