“The experience of the United States Refugee Admissions Program, which is a consortium of federal agencies and nonprofit organizations, offers a number of valuable lessons. The first is that successful resettlement needs more than big-hearted citizens. It needs an effective combination of resources provided by both the public and the private spheres. Government needs to set the legislative framework, oversee security checks and provide funding for initial housing, case management and language training. Once these needs are met, resettlement agencies in the United States work within their communities to develop volunteer programs and raise funds to augment the public provision. The success of the refugee admissions program lies in this partnership between the public and the private sectors. Refugees need to be seen for their potential contribution to society. The language of “burden” is mistaken. Rather, economic self-sufficiency is the central pillar in successful refugee resettlement.”
-David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, is the president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid organization.