U.S. Launch of Welcome Corps- Private Sponsorship of Refugees
Last January 2023, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, announced the launch of a new private sponsorship of refugees program, Welcome Corps. This program, which allows individuals to sponsor and support refugees resettling in their communities, is closely inspired by the program launched in Canada in 1979, the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 100 million people are now forcibly displaced worldwide, and more than two million refugees are now in need of protection through third-country resettlement (Projected Global Resettlement Needs Assessment for 2023).
Like the PSR program in Canada, Welcome Corps is designed to boost the capacity of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program by engaging Americans from all backgrounds who are willing to serve as private sponsors - members of religious and civic groups, veterans, diaspora communities, businesses, colleges and universities, and others. In the first year of the program, the goal is to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans to sign on as private sponsors and offer a welcoming hand to at least 5,000 refugees around the world.