US to allow private sponsors to assist with resettlement of Afghan refugees
The Biden administration on Monday announced a new program that would allow groups of private citizens to sponsor Afghan refugees, a move that could strengthen a weakened U.S. resettlement system tested by thousands of newcomers.
As part of the program, groups of individuals can form “circles of sponsorship” to assist Afghan refugees during their initial resettlement in the United States.
Sponsorship Circles will be responsible for helping refugees with basic services during their first 90 days in the United States, handling tasks traditionally undertaken by nonprofit resettlement groups. The groups, among others, would help find housing, provide basic necessities such as furniture, clothing and food, and help refugees access government benefits.
“Americans from all walks of life have expressed a keen interest in helping welcome these people,” the State Department said in its announcement. “The Sponsorship Circle for Afghans program harnesses this momentum of support and allows individuals to become directly involved in welcoming and integrating our new neighbors.
The program is a partnership with the Community Sponsorship Hub, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, Inc., which will review, certify and train individuals in sponsorship circles. Groups must also raise $ 2,275 per new Afghan arrival.