Among the consequences of the US collapse in Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, and the disintegration of Venezuela: an even longer wait for refugee status for people from other parts of the world. The New York Times recently reported that thousands are left “living in limbo as delays in the U.S. refugee system stretch to an average of five years or more.”
The refugee relocation program — gutted by the Trump administration — is now contending both with rebuilding and with relocating 180,000 people escaping Ukraine and Afghanistan. Another 24,000 Venezuelans are hoping to flee their impoverished country. As a result, would-be refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and Myanmar, who in many instances have already waited for years, are pushed toward the end of the line.
This is a typically heart-breaking story of families torn apart, as members already in the US wade through a bog of bureaucracy while they struggle to reunite with their spouses and children.