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O InterAction.

American Council for Voluntary International Action

September 6, 1990

Dear Colleagues

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Chorle Percy


Presidenta Chiol Executive Omou


On behalf of the private voluntary agencies which have borne primary responsibility
for refugee resettlement throughout the years, I am pleased to send you our
recommendations regarding refugee admissions for fiscal year 1991.
Ten years after Congress passed the 1980 Refugee Act, the United States and the
American people continue to show their willingness and generosity in responding to
the over growing refugne population around the world. It is imperative that this
spirit not fade as we enter a new era I therefore request our views and
recommendations be given careful consideration in the forthcoming consultations for
refugee admissions in fiscal year 1991.

Kono ormon

Vice Chairpenon

Kenneth M. Por

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200 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10003

2121777-8210 Telex: 175322 RDC UT

Fax: 212/995-2942 1815 H Street, ww

11th Floor Washington, DC 20000

202/822-8429 Telex: 6718249 OEF INT

Fax: 202175-0596

American Council for Nationalities Service
American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees
Armenian Assembly of America
Church World Service: Immigration and

Refugee Program
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
International Catholic Migration Commission
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Migration and Refugee Services, United States

Catholic Conference
Polish American Immigration and Relief

Refugees International
Tolstoy Foundation
World Relief

Mr. Janusa Krzyzanowali

Mr. Lionel Rosenblatt
Mr. Leon Marion
Mr. Doa Hammond

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American Council for Voluntary International Action

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The past year has been one of startling change and unexpected opportunities whose consequences we have yet fully to discern. In the words of Vaclav Haval, "We have not even had time to be astonished."

Vico Chairperson


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Assistant Secretary

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What seems clear and indisputable, however, is that domestic resettlement will continue to be a major element in U.S. refugee policy, that the numbers will not diminish in the near future, although the ethnic groups will change. Increasingly, the private voluntary resettlement agencies will be called upon to serve a larger and more varied population, not only of refugees, but also immigrants and parolees, with differing eligibilities for fully-funded services while retaining the same needs for services.

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The resettlement agencies, therefore, anticipate difficult and challenging year, with severe pressures on their limited resources. At the

time, confident that we will, once again, rise to the occasion and successfully resettle those we are called upon to serve. A good part of this confidence comes from the continued support and encouragement we feel from our constituencies across the country urging a generous and compassionate response to the needs of refugees. There is strong community support for refugee resettlement and for efforts to help refugees attain self-sufficiency. The most striking development over the past twelve months has been the fall,

after the other, of the totalitarian governments in Eastern Europe and the beginning of a genuine opening up of the Soviet Union, in particular permitting the emigration of its Jewish minority, as well

other religious and ethnic minorities. Yet, as the superstructures of imposed authoritarianism crumble,

tensions between nationalities arise and give fear of increased unrest and

200 Park Avenue South Now York, NY 10003

212177-8240 Teler. 175322 RDC UT

Fax: 212/995-2942 1815 H Street, NW

11th Floor Washington, DC 20000

2021822-8429 Tolex: 6748249 OEF INT

Fox: 2021775-0596




InterAction is a membership association of US private voluntary organizc:ions engaged in international humanitarian ettorts.

including reliet, development, refugee assistance, public policy. and development education,


violence among ethnic groups. An important trend of the year to come is the fact that over 80% of the refugees to be admitted to the U.S. will come from within their country of origin, i.e. Soviet Union, Vietnam and Cuba. Resettling refugees coming directly from their homelands, rather than experiencing the trauma of flight and seeking first asylum, will have an impact on resettlement. In many respects, it will make the task more difficult, perhaps more costly and certainly more demanding than hitherto. There is, for example, the problem of refugees who arrive with higher expectations about their future and their rapid advancement in American society. There will be, in some instances, need for extended counseling and casework services.


While no one can deny the desirability of 'orderly departure,' when it is possible, the needs of refugees in first asylum camps must be kept in mind. A delicate balance must be reached between the legitimate resettlement needs of all refugees of special and historic interest to the u.s., be they in their homelands or countries of first asylum. The O.S. Refugee Program should never lose its ability to respond quickly to emerging first asylum crises and resettle those who must be moved quickly to save their lives. Included in the large refugee populations in first asylum situations around the world are Vietnamese in Southeast Asia, under the Comprehensive Plan of Action, and other groups from Eastern Europe, the Near East and South Asia, as well as Africa and Latin America. Given the unstable conditions that prevail in many parts of the world today, the agencies recommend a small number of fully-funded admission numbers be set aside in FY 1991 for emergency refugee crises and refugees at special risk - such as victims of violence, or those whose experience of persecution has left them physically or psychologically impaired - particularly from countries that may not now be designated as being of special humanitarian concern to the U.S. By doing so, the u.s. would have the necessary flexibility to move quickly and respond appropriately to such case by case requests that may arise. The agencies are deeply concerned about the financial crisis facing the international organizations, especially the UNHCR,

IOM and the ICRC. While we note that the o.s. contributions in FY 1991 will probably increase, the gains this year and in the next three years' appropriations for overseas assistance still do not bring the 0.s. contribution to the level where it should be. The agencies have made their views known to the Congress, and urge that an additional $50 million be appropriated for overseas assistance in the regular migration Refugee Assistance account, and an additional $25 million be appropriated for the Emergency Migration and Refugee Assistance


account for FY 1991.

We are deeply committed to an appropriate balance in the allocation of resources between refugee resettlement needs and the urgencies for providing life-saving relief and assistance to large refugee population overseas in distress. We must avoid whenever possible competition for funds between resettlement and assistance needs. Neither should suffer at the expense of the other. We need adequate resources to meet. both obligations. This paper seeks to present the considered view of the private voluntary agencies on what would constitute a responsible and realizable refugee resettlement program for the United States in FY 1991. It is broken down by geographic region and then, within each region, by refugee grouping, ethnic, religious, national or combination thereof. In this regard, we feel it necessary to once again voice our strong concern for the transferring of numbers between ceilings during the course of a given year. While such transfers may be necessary, we believe this should occur only with prior consultation with the private sector. The need to transfer such numbers should not be caused, as it frequently is, by the failure of the Administration to put into place at the beginning of the fiscal year the processing system necessary to achieve the agreed-upon numbers. The agencies recognize that we are in a period of financial stringency and budgetary limitation. We also recognize, and are deeply sensitive to, the legitimate demands for maintaining satisfactory levels of refugee relief and assistance overseas. It is with these constraints in mind that we put for rd recommendations regarding FY 1991 refugee admissions.



The private voluntary refugee resettlement agencies recommend that the United States admit the following refugee numbers in FY 91. The breakdown by region is as follows:



East Asia/Southeast Asia: First Asylum

Orderly Departure Program

16,000 40,000

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