In a memorandum on Immigration, President Obama said up to 70,000 refugees may be admitted to the U.S. during the 2015 fiscal year. The President stated that this number was well justified due to humanitarian concerns and national interest.
The number of people eligible to receive refugee status is split into an uneven quota by region. The slots available to people from various regions is as follows:
- the Near East and South Asia region received the highest allocation with 33,000.
- Africa received 17,000
- the East Asia region was allocated 13,000
- the Latin American and the Caribbean region was assigned a total of 4,000 available slots
- Europe and Central Asia was allotted 1,000
- the “Unallocated Reserve” has 2,000 slots, to be allocated as needed
The State Department can allocate the 2,000 unallocated refugee numbers to another region if the need is warranted but only after notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress.
Numbers of Central American Refugees Allowed into the United States is Decreased, but President Obama wants to Promote the Development of New, Safer Options for Those in Need
International and United States immigration law states that refugee status “may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.” The freedoms and opportunities the U.S. offers has made America the country of choice for many refugees. The Presidential 2015 fiscal year memorandum stated that El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are eligible to be considered refugees “for the purpose of admission to the United States within their countries of nationality or habitual residence.” These countries, known as the “Northern Triangle” are the only Latin American countries, along with Cuba, to be part of the list. However, President Obama also noted in the memo that the number of 2015 allotments for refugees from South America was being decreased to 4000, which is 1000 slots fewer than in 2014. The President did encourage the development of new programs that would allow individuals to apply for refugee status from within their own countries. This type of program was implemented successfully in countries like Haiti and Vietnam, with the goal of preventing dangerous trips to the United States. If you have questions about whether you qualify for refugee status, please call or email Your Immigration Angel today!