The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program has received a generous grant from the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation to launch the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Project.
The Obama Administration has committed to resettling at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the current fiscal year. Due to bottlenecks in processing, the United States has fallen far short of its goal to date. Over the next six months, the Clinic will be working to gather and analyze information regarding current obstacles to efficient processing of Syrians destined for U.S. resettlement. The Clinic will compile a compendium of relevant laws and regulations related to refugee resettlement, document current practice, and make practical recommendations for improvements to those processes. The report will be broadly disseminated to both Congress and the Administration and will include specific recommendations for reform.
In describing the Project, Clinical Professor of Law and Director Deborah Anker explained, “Working with expert consultants Amy Nelson, formerly Director of the Refugee Processing Center at the Department of State, and Sana F. Shtasel (HKS `88), Senior Advisor to the Multi-Faith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, and with the input of key government agencies, we are excited to gather together the International Rescue Committee, HIAS, International Refugee Assistance Project, and Human Rights Watch, as part of our exceptional Advisory Board — all of which have long-standing policy and on-the-ground experience in international refugee resettlement.” She notes that the UN General Assembly has designated June 20 as World Refugee Day to show identification with and compassion for refugees around the world. “It is a fitting moment to announce the HLS Syrian Refugee Resettlement Project,” Anker said.
Abby Milstein ’76 and Howard Milstein ’77 serve on the Executive Committee of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and Mrs. Milstein also serves on the Visiting Committee of Harvard Law School.