If you’re like me, you may be listening to the current debates about the fiscal cliff and wondering how a fall over the cliff would impact newcomers to our country.
Unfortunately, if our elected officials fail to come to a compromise, many federally funded programs would likely see significant spending cuts. Currently, a few federal programs provide essential support to refugees and other new Americans. Cutting these programs would mean refugees and aspiring citizens would have fewer opportunities to learn English through immigrant integration programs. Refugees and vulnerable migrants also depend on the Office of Refugee Resettlement for critical services that help them adjust to life in a new home. And detained migrants in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security could be left in the dark as to their rights in U.S. immigration court without the vital education they now receive through the Legal Orientation Program.
As negotiations around revenue boosts and spending cuts continue, I’ll keep you informed about the impact the eventual outcome will have on new Americans, and about any actions you can take to ensure these refugee programs are protected. You’ll be able to find those updates here in these Tuesday National Action Alerts.
In a blog post for Immigration Impact over a year ago, as the country faced a debt ceiling rather than a fiscal cliff, LIRS wrote words that still hold true: Let’s hope they protect the essential services and programs that provide support and relief to immigrants, refugees, and their communities.