The U. S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) is a humanitarian program that resettles vulnerable refugees to the United States. Though these refugees have suffered from extraordinarily high rates of trauma, the refugee admissions process does not have formal statutory or regulatory safeguards to accommodate the vulnerable nature of many applicants for resettlement. Yet, the applicants who have suffered the most trauma, including victims of sexual and gender- based violence, are the refugees most likely to be impeded by a process that largely centers on proving the severity of their trauma. To promote accurate outcomes, and to decrease the risk of retraumatization during the resettlement adjudication process, Congress should enact procedural safeguards to govern USRAP. In applications for resettlement, refugees should be guaranteed access to counsel during their interviews, access to evidence used by USRAP against the refugee, written reasons for USRAP’s adverse decisions, the opportunity to appeal, and pre-screening for, and accommodation of, vulnerable traits that might impact the adjudication process.
The Case for Procedural Safeguards in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol20/iss2/4