In September 2018, the Niskanen Center hosted two panels exploring refugee policy in the 21st century featuring leaders from academia, government, think tanks, and refugee resettlement organizations. The first panel explored the strategic and national security case in favor of refugee resettlement, and the second examined how the U.S. can harness private sector support to improve refugee resettlement outcomes.
The event was co-sponsored by the National Immigration Forum, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Human Rights First, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
C-SPAN coverage is available for the first panel and for the second panel; the transcript is also available for the first panel and second panel. The links below provide highlights from both panels.
Panel I: The Strategic Case for Refugee Resettlement
- Idean Salehyan outlines the strategic case for refugee resettlement.
- Idean Salehyan contextualizes the security risks of refugees.
- Idean Salehyan explains the refugee resettlement procedure.
- Idean Salehyan speaks about the skills that refugees bring to America.
- Idean Salehyan explains the history of bipartisan support for refugees
- Linda Chavez explains how refugee resettlement is important to the idea of being an American.
- Linda Chavez discusses “I came to America as a refugee.”
- Linda Chavez compares American and European refugee integration.
- Linda Chavez explains how fears about assimilation are not new, but unwarranted.
- Scott Cooper explains how refugee resettlement furthers a valuable national narrative.
- Scott Cooper explains how refugee resettlement is crucial for maintaining regional stability and maintaining important alliances.
Panel II: Community Involvement in Accepting Refugees
- Jennifer Bond outlines the general success of private resettlement in Canada.
- Jennifer Bond explains why communities need to lead the resettlement process.
- Jennifer Bond talks about the value of community sponsorship in expanding overall support for refugees.
- Chris Gersten explains how the refugee program is essential for American moral leadership.
- Chris Gersten recommends that governments partner with sponsorship groups.
- Chris Gersten defends the refugee program.
- Chris George outlines the growth of IRIS and community based sponsorship in Connecticut.
- Chris George explains why community based sponsorship delivers better results than traditional resettlement methods.
- Chris George highlights the growing interest of the American people in resettlement.