April 10 -11, 2012; New York, NY
Contact: New York Foreign Press Center Media Relations Officer Ariel Howard
Telephone: 646-282-2832; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The New York Foreign Press Center, in conjunction with the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), organized a reporting tour on refugee resettlement in the U.S. from April 10-12. The tour included a briefing by PRM PDAS David Robinson and PRM Refugee Admissions Office Director Larry Bartlett on U.S. refugee policy ; a site visit to the International Rescue Committee's NY office and refugee orientation classes; a conference call with Iraqi and Somali refugees resettled by Catholic Charities in Maine; and a trip to Newark Airport to observe a refugee arrival managed by DHS Customs and Border Patrol and the International Organization of Migration. Twenty journalists -- many of whom represented media outlets in countries that PRM would like to see share more of the global refugee resettlement burden -- were selected to take part in this tour from the 35 who applied (space was limited because of group size concerns at the airport). Journalists were surprised to learn that the U.S. resettles more refugees than all other countries combined, and that we place refugees in both urban and suburban environments. They were particularly interested in resettlement of Iraqis, and the "special responsibility" that the U.S. has for taking in people whose lives may have been endangered by their work with the U.S. government.