Refugee Travel Cancellations

January 16, 2020

Many people are being forced to flee their homes due to ongoing conflicts and wars. However, flights for refugees who have already been approved to come to the United States are continuing to be canceled; some for the second time. This has significantly delayed their opportunity for resettlement. The cancellations may be especially concerning for refugees whose security checks and medical exams are about to expire.

What is Resettlement?

Resettlement is the process of transferring refugees from an asylum country to a place that agreed to accept them and eventually grant them permanent settlement. By the end of 2018, there were 20.4 million refugees of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). However, less than one percent were resettled that year. Resettlement states provide refugees with legal and physical protection. Only a small number of states participate in UNHCR and the United States has been the world’s top resettlement country in recent years.

The main beneficiaries of UNHCR-facilitated resettlement programs in 2018 were refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. Over 55,000 individuals fled to resettlement countries with UNHCR’s assistance in 2018.

Moratorium on Travel

Travel plans have been cancelled due to a moratorium, postponing many refugees’ ability to travel. The moratorium originally extended through October 28, with arrivals resuming on October 29. Some cases were rescheduled in September, resulting in about a month and a half delay. Two hundred refugees were supposed to travel to the United States; however, their flights were cancelled. The International Organization for Migration has since sent notifications about flight cancellations.

Clashes on the border between Turkey and Syria have led to many refugees fleeing Syria to refugee camps. More than 1,000 refugees have been transported to refugee camps, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Many of them complained that fleeing to the border took them days. The Trump administration has proposed limiting the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States at 18,000, which is a historic low. Because of this, nine resettlement agencies had to close offices or pause their placement programs. It is against the law to admit refugees into the country this fiscal year until the President determines the number of refugees that may be admitted.

Vineland Immigration Attorneys at the MC Law Group, LLC Represent Individuals Facing Immigration Issues

Immigration can be a long and complicated process. If you or someone you know is having issues with immigration, contact a Vineland immigration attorney at the MC Law Group, LLC. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.