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PROPORTION OF AID FOR RESETTLEMENT VERSUS OVERSEAS PROGRAMS
Another trend very disturbing to me is the reduced proportion of our refugee funds going to the refugees in camps abroad, as compared to the proportion of our refugee funds we spend to resettle refugees in the United States. Is it wise policy to spend $7,000 or $8,000 per refugee to be resettled in the United States when that sum would provide dozens and dozens-hundreds, perhaps-of refugees with food and shelter in countries of first asylum for a full year?
Are our priorities really in order as we go through this ghastly, wrenching budget decision where you're going to see Congressmen pull up their socks and run for blocks to get away from making the tough decisions? And we know very well that we are going to have to do it, and we will do it. It will take some pretty gutsy Republicans and Democrats to do it, and we will get it done in both Houses. It will be tough.
Is it really then in the national interest to continue this growing resettlement rate, a rate that has doubled in the past 5 years? Doubled. That is disturbing to me.
INSUFFICIENT FUNDING REQUESTED Finally, an additional disturbing trend we have seen these last 2 years is the requesting of admissions numbers when sufficient funding is not available at the time we consult, and it isn't even available to us after we consult to pay for the domestic resettlement of these refugees. The excess in admissions over funding could be 11,000 refugees in the coming year. Where do we stretch that? Why don't we really do what we are supposed to do?
We will hear about dependency rates, and we will hear about, I guess, politics. We will hear about the necessity to not irritate anyone in the world and to be sure that we take these people. And I don't mind taking, refugees from all over the Earth, but I do mind taking, as refugees, people who could come here under our legal immigration systems. That is what is wrong with this whole mess right now.
Many of those in priorities three and five, in particular, could really come in under our immigration laws. But when you come in under immigration laws, you have to pay for it. When you come in under the refugee laws, somebody else is paying for it.
There has been a lot of distortion, a lot of twisted stuff going on, and I am just going to sit around long enough to see where we are. I hope we can get some answers to some of those questions from you and from experts who accompany you here. I admire you. I know what you do for our country, and that isn't even the point. The point is, you know, if you really care about refugees, why don't you take that $7,000 or $8,000 and give it to somebody overseas in a camp that we are always talking about, and not just get them here when they could come in here under our legal immigrations systems if you really were playing it up front.
I will be glad to hear some more comments, and we will get into it in depth.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF GENE McNARY Mr. McNary. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I would like to submit my full statement for the record this morning.
Senator SIMON. It will be entered in the record.
Mr. McNARY. And I will review some of the INS major refugee and asylee program initiatives that have taken place during the past fiscal year. I am particularly pleased to report to you today that INS has successfully begun implementation of the asylum regulations that were signed by the Attorney General and published on July 27, 1990. These regulations authorize the creation of a core of specialized adjudicators under the direct supervision of INS Washington headquarters who will devote 100 percent of their time to the sensitive task of deciding asylum claims. These adjudicators will be based in seven cities around the country and will make circuit rides to the other sites as workload requires.
NEW ASYLUM REGULATIONS The new asylum regulations also call for the establishment of a documentation center
to provide information on conditions in refugee-producing countries. Recently developed officer corps training and the documentation center will enhance the professionalism in both asylum adjudications and the interviews of refugee applicants.
As for refugee processing overseas, in Rome INS processed more than 44,000 Soviet refugees who traveled to the United States during fiscal year 1990. În Moscow, the Service increased its staff to six interviewing positions. As of mid-August, INS cumulative statistics for fiscal year 1990 show that approximately 38,000 Soviets have been interviewed in Moscow, with nearly 22,500 granted refugee status.
In Southeast Asia, each month 6,000 Vietnamese are processed through the Orderly Departure Program (ODP]; 70 percent of these ODP interviews are refugee adjudications and are the responsibility of INS. As of October 1, 1990, ODP interviews will be increased to 7,500 each month. In both Moscow and Southeast Asia, INS has been conducting certain refugee adjudications under the Lautenberg amendment, which, as you are aware, passed as a part of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1990. That amendment created categories of Soviets and Indochinese who can qualify for refugee status based on an assertion of fear of persecution and an assertion of a credible basis for concern. Persons who may apply under this legislation include Soviet Jews, Soviet Evangelicals, Ukrainian Catholics, and Ukrainian Orthodox, as well as nationals of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.
SOVIET PROCESSING Early this year, in an effort to ensure that INS overseas offices were aware of the importance of the Lautenberg amendment, I went to Moscow and Deputy Commissioner Ricardo Inzunza traveled to Bangkok to personally oversee its implementation. As part of our efforts, INS headquarters personnel were sent to Rome, Moscow, and Bangkok to provide Lautenberg training and guidance. The success of the INS efforts is reflected in the increased approval rates for Soviets and Indochinese who qualify for consideration.
In my written statement, I have addressed two other issues in depth: In-country processing and the extension of public interest parole.
Briefly, in fiscal year 1991, the percentage of refugees benefiting from in-country processing is likely to exceed 60 percent of the available refugee admissions numbers. In 1980, in-country processing was authorized to serve as an extraordinary remedy for refugees in particularly compelling circumstances. As the concept of incountry processing continues to evolve, we must remain vigilant that persons who are in the most vulnerable circumstances, ether still inside their countries of origin or already outside, receive priority attention from both the international community and the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
Another issue which those of us involved in the U.S. refugee program continue to review is the expansion of the use of public interest parole for persons determined not to be refugees. Public interest parole and continues to serve U.S. interests. We believe that its use as an alternate immigration channel for large groups who cannot enter the United States as refugees or qualify for immigrant visas under the preference system should not be continued over the long term.
We at INS endorse both the overall refugee admissions ceiling of 131,000 and the separate regional ceilings as proposed by the President. We believe these ceilings are both responsive to evolving refugee situations in the world and reflect the need for refugee resettlement in the United States.
Thank you. I will be pleased to answer any questions. [The prepared statement of Mr. McNary follows:]
Commissioner 0.8. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Policy
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Refugee Resettlement Admissions Program
for Fiscal Year 1991
October 3, 1990
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the proposed U.S. refugee resettlement admissions program for Fiscal Year 1991 and the role of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in
international definition of "refugee" into U.s. law. We at INS are proud of our role in the processing of refugees throughout
the world for resettlement in the United States.
FY 1990 Accomplishments
I would like to provide you with an update on the substantial accomplishments of our refugee program during this fiscal year,
particularly as reflected by our expanding operations overseas.
While INS overseas offices have a variety of responsibilities, one of the most important is the processing of refugees. The INS overseas officer corps currently consists of 21 officers in our
Bangkok district, with suboffices in New Delhi, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, and Hong Kong; 10 officers in the Mexico city district, with suboffices in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Cuidad
Juarez, and Tijuana; and 19 officers in our Rome district, with