Burmese Refugee Resettlement Winding Down over the Next Year
I just receive this e-mail about the ending of a flow of Burmese refugees to the United States. Relatives should be in touch with those remaining in Thailand right away. Please read what I read, also see the note at the bottom:
After almost seven years of large-scale resettlement and the departure of more than 65,000 Burmese refugees to the United States, the number of eligible Burmese refugees in camps in Thailand has been reduced significantly. We are reaching the natural conclusion of the group resettlement program that has specific eligibility criteria for Burmese refugees who were re-registered by UNHCR in 2005 and formally registered by the Government of Thailand.
We are setting deadlines for eligible Burmese refugees to apply for resettlement that will vary by camp based on when resettlement operations began in each camp. The resettlement program will continue until we have completed the processing of every application received by the deadline for each camp.
We realize that not all Burmese who are eligible for resettlement consideration are interested in resettlement. We encourage those who are interested in resettlement to apply by the camp-specific deadlines. The first announcement was made in Tham Hin camp in 2009. Mae La is the second camp, and we will make rolling announcements in the remaining seven camps throughout 2013.
UNHCR and IRC have developed an extensive and pro-active information campaign to reach all refugees in camps in Thailand. Relatives in the U.S. should encourage family members in the camps to meet with UNHCR and IRC at the information sessions and/or go to the office.
I hope this information is helpful. Please share widely.
Chief, Domestic Resettlement, Refugee Admissions • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration • U.S. Department of State
Note: It is five months later and the number of refugees coming to our town has not slackened. I am wondering if these statements from Washington were for political purposes. There are still many Burmese refugees in the camps and Malaysia that are seeking asylum. – John McMurphy
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