Contact Information:
Louisa Tavlas
Director of Communication
The Niskanen Center

Washington D.C. – April 19, 2016. Today, the Niskanen Center is hosting a Hill briefing to discuss privately-funded refugee resettlement and possible designs for such a program in the United States. “Private Sector Solutions For the Worldwide Refugee Crisis” will be moderated by the Niskanen Center’s new immigration policy counsel Kristie De Peña, and will feature Wendy Cukier of Lifeline Syria and David Bier of the Niskanen Center.

“With more refugees around the world than ever, the United States must employ all of its resources, not just those appropriated by Congress, toward ameliorating this crisis,” says Bier, the director of immigration policy at the Niskanen Center. “America is being left out of a global trend toward privately funded or sponsored refugee programs. America’s history of philanthropy demonstrates that Americans would, if given the chance, help many more refugees directly.”

Wendy Cukier, co-founder and board member of Lifeline Syria and co-founder and executive lead of Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, is a featured speaker.

“Lifeline Syria and the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge is an innovative response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis,” said Ms. Cukier. “Lifeline Syria extends the promise of safety to refugees through private sponsorship. By connecting refugees to private sponsor groups, it enables everyday Canadians to provide support to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in a tangible and meaningful way. Like other innovations in the sharing economy, it addresses emergent needs bringing together people with money, skills, time, or other resources. The United States has the capability and resources to go far beyond our effort.”

The Niskanen Center is a libertarian 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that was established in 2014 that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.

Lifeline Syria was launched in June 2015 with the objective of privately sponsoring 1,000 Syrian Refugees in the Greater Toronto Area. Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge is a program that has mobilized private sponsors to support more than 100 Syrian refugee families.