According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world. The current refugee population is the highest it has been since World War II. Violence, poverty, and climate change are some of the driving forces behind why refugees leave their home country. Since 2001, June 20 marks World Refugee Day- the day that the United Nations and more than 100 countries commemorate the obstacles this population face while also celebrating their courage and strength.
This session was the first in a summer series of Legislative Exchanges hosted in coordination with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disease to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC has locations in 15 U.S. states and over 20 U.S. cities providing direct resettlement services to newly arrived refugees.
During the session, the IRC provided a presentation on the nuts and bolts of the refugee resettlement program- how one qualifies for refugee status; the process of resettlement abroad and, as a special feature, the IRC Boise Executive Director provided a unique view into the work of a local resettlement office.
Facilitator: Idaho Representative Clark Kauffman, CSG West Chair
Genevieve Kessler – Director of State Advocacy, IRC
Lindsey Sharp – Processing Director, IRC
Sandra Vines – Resettlement Director, IRC
Julianne Donnelly Tzul – Executive Director, IRC Boise
IRC Summit program materials:
Please note: Viewing of recorded sessions below will require registration to access.
- Summit Overview
- Keynote Conversation: The Refugee and Immigrant Experience
- Refugee Resettlement is Good for America: New American Economy’s Data and Research
- State Integration: Policies & Impacts
- Creating Equity: Education and Language Access for Newcomers
- The Road to Self-Sufficiency: The Importance of Economic Empowerment
- Executive Discussion: Innovations in Resettlement