Current News and Information from Peace Corps Community for Refugees

Tuesday January 30, 2024

WINTER 2024 NEWSLETTER

The PCC4Refugees Newsletter brings you volunteer opportunities,

profiles of the impactful work being done by RPCVs around the country,

and ideas and lessons learned from groups helping refugees

build new lives in their local communities.

Additionally, we feature ideas from our Advocacy Team

about how you can be an effective voice for refugees, asylum seekers,

and other people on the move.

On-Line Refugee Advocacy Forum

 

ZOOM – SUNDAY, JANUARY 28:  8:00 PM EST.

Hosted by the Peace Corps Community for Refugees Advocacy Team

Participate in an on-line discussion to see what you can do for refugees.

Priorities will be shared by Refugee Agencies and Congressional Staff.

Provide your thoughts on where our team should focus our priorities. Decide if you can assist refugee causes locally and/or nationally.

PRESENTATIONS:

Afghan Adjustment Act

By Dan Kosten, RPCV, Assis. VP, National Immigration Forum

Asylum Seekers Work Authorization Act

By Corrinne Latti, Staff Associate, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

Climate Displaced Persons Act

By Mike Roman, RPCV’s for Environmental Action

 

Sign in with this link at 8:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 28:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82831354532?pwd=mx9VMqArFAvSE3o9MTm7w4Orlyq4he.1

 

Sponsored by the PCC4Refugees advocacy team:  Michael McGirr, RPCV, Sierra Leone; Richard MacIntyre, RPCV, Korea; Darcy Neill, RPCV, Gabon & Senegal; Marybeth Theisen, RPCV, Poland; Nancy Martin, RPCV, Malawi & Liberia; Ali Talwar, RPCV, Thailand; Nai Oo, RPCV, Burkina Faso; Elaine Staab, RPCV, Paraguay; Christine Madaio DiStasio, RPCV, Lesotho

 

 

Work Authorization Act for Asylees

Amid historic labor shortages in critical sectors across the country, the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act (H.R. 1325) was introduced in Congress to bolster the workforce by allowing asylum seekers to apply for work authorization and get to work faster while their asylum claims are adjudicated. This is a commonsense, bipartisan solution that Congress can act on now.

Do you want to get involved? Let your Member of Congress know that you support letting asylum seekers work and want them to co-sponsor and support the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act. It just takes two minutes!

https://www.refugeesinternational.org/actions/let-asylum-seekers-work/

 

Letter to the White House

The National Immigrant Justice Center, American Immigration Council, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Church World Service, Human Rights First, Southern Border Communities Coalition, and the Women’s Refugee Commission delivered a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget with key recommendations for priorities for immigrant communities in the president’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2025.

The letter outlines the following priority proposals:

  1. Fund alternatives to detention: Prioritize funding to grow community-based case management programs and downsize the budget for enforcement-based programming.
  2. Decrease detention: Continue to seek decreased funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Custody Operations while ensuring increased oversight and improved access to services for those detained.
  3. Increase access to appointed counsel in immigration court: Request sufficient funds to ensure legal representation for all indigent adults, families, and children facing removal.
  4. Deprioritize enforcement and surveillance: Decrease Customs and Border Protection (CBP) surveillance programs and ICE and Border Patrol’s oversized agent corps while ensuring robust CBP processing capacity.
  5. Improve border reception: Continue to request increased funds for the Shelter and Services Program; work with Congress to create non-custodial, humanitarian reception models at the border.
  6. Address the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) backlog: Request sufficient funding for USCIS to promptly reduce the growing backlog and ensure efficient intake and processing.

 

The International Organization for

Migration — Role of Climate on

Refugees and Displaced Peoples

COP28 Conference in Dubai

Carrie Lederer, RPCV, Comoros and Senegal, recently attended the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) virtual reality exhibition.

The statistics on displaced people due to climate change are staggering.  Disasters alone led to  a record number of 32.6 million new internal displacements in 2022, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s 2023 Global Report on Internal Displacement:

  • 10.1 million disaster displacements in East Asia and the Pacific in 2022
  • 12.5 million disaster displacements in South Asia in 2022
  • 7.5 million disaster displacements in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022
  • 2.1 million disaster displacements in the Americas in 2022
  • 107,000 disaster displacements in Europe and Central Asia in 2022
  • 305,000 disaster displacements in the Middle East and North Africa in 2022.

Carrie Lederer had an interaction with a woman from Dominica, a small Caribbean Island, that was mostly wiped out by Hurricane Maria six years ago.  She asked her if she’d heard much discussion around climate migration and she said, “We don’t like to talk about it, quite frankly, because we don’t want to be forced to leave our home.”  It’s the elephant in the room, so to speak.  Like all small island nations, they are responsible for a minuscule amount of green house gases yet are bearing the brunt of climate change.

On the thematic day of Frontline Communities and Finance, panel discussions touched on improving risk reduction through preparedness and early warning measures/systems.  Adaptation and resiliency development are all contingent on scaling up climate finance to fulfill the annual $100 billion dollar pledge, with at least half these funds dedicated to adaptation, disaster risk prevention and resilience building.

 

 

The Climate Displaced Persons Act

(CDPA) has been reintroduced to the

118th Congress

Thank you so much to everyone who helped in the 117th Congress!  We got 17 Members of Congress/Senators to sign the bill, and in the 118th, 13 Members of Congress/Senators signed the bill within the past month.

CDPA would create a visa-based process for individuals displaced by climate change to apply for admission to the United States. It would also create a Global Climate Change Resilience Strategy to coordinate government efforts to support front-line communities worldwide from the harms of climate-related hazards.

While current pathways like the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and humanitarian parole can be better utilized to offer protection for those displaced by climate change, a climate-specific pathway codified in law directly addresses the human mobility impacts of climate change.

This has become my life’s work over the last couple of decades, and I would really appreciate it if you (US-based friends) would send a quick message to your Members of Congress/Senators asking for their support of this bill with this link: https://bit.ly/3w6QUoN

As a thank you, you will get a link to the 52-minute documentary, Nations of Water!

Mike Roman, RPCV, Kiribati,

RPCV’s for Environmental Action

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpcv4ea/permalink/3205950239700525/

 

Peace Corps Community for Refugees is on Instagram

Follow us on Instagram!  @pcc4refugees or this link

https://www.instagram.com/pcc4refugees/

 

Facebook – Like Us!

Our Facebook account is a frequently-updated source of information about the news and issues affecting the work accomplished by RPCVs active in refugee work. If you already follow us on Facebook, we thank you and ask that you consider sharing our posts.

For those new to Peace Corps Community for Refugees, please follow us and like and share our posts.

It’s a powerful tool for educating friends about the facts and realities faced by refugees and asylum seekers.

Skip to content