The U.S. State Department has announced a major pilot program that will expand private sponsorship of refugees.
The new Welcome Corps program, a public-private partnership, will make it possible for everyday Americans and institutions to privately sponsor refugees from across the world in search of safety in the U.S.
The State Department will begin facilitating matches this year with the goal of mobilizing 10,000 private sponsors nationwide for at least 5,000 refugees in the program's first year.
During the first phase of the program, State Department officials will match approved sponsors with refugees overseas who already have been cleared to come to the U.S., CBS News reports. In mid-2023, officials plan to allow prospective sponsors to identify refugees abroad whom they wish to assist.
Approved sponsors must raise at least $2,275 in cash and in-kind donations per new arrival. Sponsors will provide support in areas such as finding jobs and housing, school enrollments, and transportation.
Arrivals will be eligible for refugee program benefits, permanent legal status, and a pathway to citizenship.
The Idaho Office for Refugees will release more Idaho-specific details as they become available. Here's a helpful article from the International Rescue Committee, a Welcome Corps partner that has a resettlement agency in Boise.
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager
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