News from the Week of September 9th

Weekly News roundup (1).png

Vincent Cochetel has worked for UNHCR for over 30 years. In a compelling interview, he talks to Melissa Fleming about his early career interviewing asylum-seekers in Turkey, being kidnapped and held in captivity for 317 days in the Caucasus, and his current work with refugees in Libya. This is the first episode in the new Awake at Night podcast, which details what it’s like to serve as a humanitarian worker in the world’s most dangerous locations.  


The Atlantic reports on how the steep decline in refugee arrivals to the United States is impacting the nine non-profit organizations tasked with implementing resettlement. With less than a month before the close of the fiscal year, only around 20,000 refugees have been admitted for resettlement, far short of the historically-low goal of 45,000. From office closures to layoffs, resettlement agencies are struggling.


Did you know: Nearly a quarter of the men sent to war in Europe in 1918 were foreign-born. The At War blog of The New York Times looks back at the “half American” soldiers of World War I and their desire to serve “just like those who arrive today and continue to see the military as an avenue for gaining citizenship and respect.”


The New York Times Opinion page features a powerful piece detailing the current status of the U.S. refugee program and its national security implications. “The refugee program is an important tool of American foreign policy and has enhanced our global standing and security. We evacuated Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon, took in Soviet Jews in the 1980s, airlifted Kosovars fleeing genocide in the 1990s, admitted thousands of Sudanese ‘Lost Boys’ orphaned by war in this century. In each instance, we sent an important signal to the world—and so goaded governments into action, undermined the legitimacy of authoritarian leaders and defended religious freedom.”