Millions of people around the world have been displaced and forced to leave their homes as a result of wars and other forms of conflict. In fact, the UN Refugee Agency reports that more than 100 million people are currently displaced from their homes.
For years, the state department relied on refugee resettlement organizations to facilitate refugee resettlements in the U.S. However, with these organizations stretched thin, the Biden Administration has recently unveiled the Welcome Corps, a private sponsorship program that allows refugees to experience the American dream.
Understanding the Welcome Corps
The Welcome Corps is facilitated by the U.S. government and allows American citizens to sponsor and resettle refugees. These sponsors ensure that refugees are welcomed and supported as they rebuild their lives and integrate into American society.
Becoming a Welcome Corp sponsor
To become a private refugee sponsor, you need to come together in a group of five or more individuals. Thereafter, you will need to submit an application and go through a background check to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support the refugees you will be hosting. As sponsors, you will need to raise at least $2,275 per refugee.
Your responsibilities as a sponsor
The Welcome Corps is basically designed to strengthen the connections between local communities and settled refugees. The program will be implemented in phases, with the first phase aiming to rally at least 10,000 Americans to sponsor some 5,000 refugees.
As a sponsor, you will take care of the refugee’s initial resettlement services. Some of your responsibilities will include:
- Meeting and welcoming the refugee at the airport and taking them to the initial housing
- Ensuring that the refugee receives appropriate healthcare
- Providing adequate community and cultural orientation
- Helping refugee children find and enroll in schools
The Welcome Corps is designed to tap into the goodwill of the American people to provide a warm welcome to displaced refugees, but experienced legal guidance is always wise when you’re considering an immigration matter.