The Grueling Journey

WAR – OPPRESSION – POVERTY – STARVATION

These life-threatening circumstances drive the weak out of their homes. Men, women, and children become displaced refugees thrown into the unknown.

All too often refugees are at a high safety risk in refugee camps and have no alternative but to seek resettlement in developed nations like America. Refugees face a rigorous and detailed process in order to safely and successfully resettle in America.

The journey begins with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where an application is filed to confirm refugee status as per international law. Once approved and a preliminary interview is conducted, the refugee’s information is passed to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via the local US Embassy. What follows is a series of rigorous interviews and security checks of varying degrees conducted by the DHS and often times the FBI and CIA. The file is then passed on to the Department of State for final approval of admission. This process is in place to ensure the refugee is not a safety risk to America and is indeed a refugee as per US law.

Once approved for resettlement, the International Organization of Migration prepares the refugee for the journey with basic cultural training, medical examinations and makes travel and flight arrangements. Before tickets are booked, refugees sign a promissory note for the cost of their plane ticket, which is to be paid back within 4-6 months of arrival.

For families, this is a grueling and stressful journey that is far from over.