USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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USCRI's Blog: Read This!

Here at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, we distribute staff-wide daily articles on important issues.  Want to be in the loop, too?  We’ll keep you up to date on the scoop about refugees, immigrants, migrant children, and human trafficking every week in our Read This! Blog.

October 5, 2012

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Transportation has engaged Amtrak to train 8,000 employees to prevent human trafficking around the country.  In an effort to target the entire U.S. transportation system, training through DHS’s Blue Lightning Initiative is also being carried out for airline employees to identify signs of trafficking and notify authorities.  "There is still much more work to do," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said. "Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time."

As an advocate to end refugee warehousing, USCRI recognizes the negative toll that long-term encampment plays on health. UNHCR, the UCL Institute of Child Health, and the Emergency Nutrition Network released a study that showed correlations between malnutrition in protracted refugee situations in the Western Sahara.  Many of the camp residents have lived there since 1975.  See USCRI’s alternatives to refugee warehousing

Immigrant entrepreneurship is declining in the U.S. due, in part, to strict immigration laws that prevent highly skilled immigrants from staying in the country after earning their degrees.  Several bills have been proposed by Congress to retain and attract foreign-born entrepreneurs, but the heated immigration debate has prevented the bills from moving forward.  This decline stands to threatens U.S. competitiveness in global markets. 

Refugees flee their homes, businesses, farms, and communities in order to escape war and persecution.  For many Syrians, their stories recount a deciding moment before they fled their homes to find safety and security from the violence.  After a long journey, with some parents carrying children for hours on foot, many families went to Jordan where they are now finding challenges to feed their families, send their children to school, and access health services.

In response to the rise of unaccompanied migrant children entering the United States — expected to total 14,500 by the end of the year — Congress recently passed a continuing resolution to meet the increased need for services.  Most youth are fleeing violence from their countries in Mexico and Central America and many are trying to reunite with parents who have previously immigrated to the U.S.  USCRI is a major partner in this effort and provides pro bono legal and social services for migrant children as they navigate the U.S. Immigration Courts.


Tweet this blog: Read This! on @Amtrak's #antitrafficking, @PLOSMedicine refugee health, immigrant entrepreneurs, & migrant children http://bit.ly/PXGMoi

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