The Biden Administration needs to recognize the additional pressure this move will put on resettlement agencies like Jewish Family Service. We know from experience that the actions of well-meaning people without the required expertise can have an unintended impact on families who are already traumatized.
The reality is refugee resettlement agencies across the United States have been underfunded for years.
As a result, it’s crucial the administration build back better refugee resettlement capabilities, especially considering the increasing numbers of refugees we can expect in the coming years from Afghanistan and other conflict zones.
JFS suggests the administration fund experienced resettlement agencies to manage groups to ensure there’s a system in place to vet, coordinate, and support their volunteers.
This would be a more effective plan, help build a robust domestic structure and support network for refugees, and create a structured way for Americans to volunteer to help Afghan refugees, many of whom have helped the U.S. as interpreters and in other roles, over the last twenty years.