Topics for Great Decisions 2020
- CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE GLOBAL ORDER
Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?
Date: 2nd Thurs, March 12
Reviewer: Julie Kleszczewski
- INDIA AND PAKISTAN
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to a historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically?
Date: 2nd Thurs, June 11
- RED SEA SECURITY
The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?
Date: 4th Thurs, March 26
Reviewer: Maria Ellis
- MODERN SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?
Date: 2nd Thurs, April 9
- U.S. RELATIONS WITH THE NORTHERN TRIANGLE
Combatting illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?
Date: 4th Thurs, April 23
- CHINA’S ROAD INTO LATIN AMERICA
As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence”?
Date: 4th Thurs, May 20
- THE PHILIPPINES AND THE U.S.
The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century. However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a largescale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines?
Date: 4th Thurs, June 25
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND DATA
Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit?
Date: 2nd Thurs, May 14
Reviewer: Dr. C.S. Rani
SUNY New Paltz Global Summit, New York, NY, Wednesday, December 11, 2019
The SUNY Global Engagement Program provides students with the opportunity to spend a semester immersed in international affairs in the world’s most important global city, New York City. Enrolled students complete an internship with an international not-forprofit organization, research program and an integrated class at the SUNY Global Center. This program offers options to undertake work and study in fields related to global affairs including politics, education, the arts, the social and natural sciences and business.
Empire State NYC Branch Leadership and AAUW NYC Fellows Meeting
at Goldman Sachs in NYC, Tuesday, December 10, 2019
AAUW Partnership with Goldman Sachs & EYO STEM program
AAUW Empire State NYC Leadership:
Estelle Kone, Emmelina De Feo, Maria Ellis, Jessica Sims; C.S. Rani
Empire State NYC Branch Leadership and AAUW NYC Fellows Meeting at Google in NYC, Tuesday, November 12, 2019
AAUW Partnership with Google & EYO STEM Program
AAUW NYC Fellows: Valerie Streit, Jessica Sims; Estelle Kone,
Danielle Guindo, Read Alliance; Whitney Oriana; Emmelina De Feo,
Maria Ellis, Empire State NYC Branch President, EYO Co-Director,
Lorrin Johnson, EYO Co-Director; Dr. Rani, Empire State NYC Branch Treasurer
Empire State NYC Branch hosting the College of Mount Saint Vincent Mentees
for a XMAS Concert & Dinner at the Harvard Club, Monday, December 9, 2019!
Karolina Lukasiewicz is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU) and adjunct lecturer at Silver School of Social Work, NYU. Her research is focused on welfare programs addressed to refugees and asylees in the United States. She is also a principal investigator in two projects focused on immigrant communities in NYC. She has been studying the situation of immigrants and refugees for over twelve years. She received ten various international fellowships and awards for her work with immigrant communities. Her articles have appeared in journals such as International Migration and Journal of Family Issues. Additionally to her academic engagement, Karolina is involved in several clinical initiatives as evaluator and employment trainer in organizations assisting refugees. She is a member of different professional organizations, including Influencing Social Policy and International Association for the Study of Forced Migration. Karolina received her doctoral degree in at the Jagiellonian University in Poland in the Center for Evaluation and Analysis of Public Policies.
SOCIAL POLICIES AND REFUGEES
The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research
New York University
WHO IS A REFUGEE?
Refugee Act of 1980, Based on 1951
Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 New York protocol
In 2016 FY: 84,995 refugees resettled to the U.S. and 25,154 were granted asylum
A person fearing of being persecuted for reasons of: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion
A person is an “asylum seeker” until granted “refugee status”
Asylum – protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international definition of a “refugee.”
A refugee has a right to be protected against forcible return
Eligibility for refugee status is determined outside the U.S. among applicants referred by UNHCR, successful applicants are resettled to the US.
OTHER PROTECTED IMMIGRANT STATUSES IN THE U.S.
Temporary Protected Status (In 2016 FY, 300,000 individuals had TPS),
- 13 countries eligible: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen
- Granted for 6-12 months to those migrants who may not meet the legal definition of refugee but arefleeing—orreluctantto returnto—potentially dangeroussituations.
Holders of Special Immigrant Visas (In 2016FY:6,336Afghansand890Iraqis)
REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT (implemented through the U.S. REFUGEE
- U.S. has the largest resettlement program worldwide: accepts the largest number of resettled refugees in the world (in general numbers)
- Refugees constitute less then 10% of immigration to the U.S.
- More than 3million have arrived in the U.S. since the Refugee Actof1980 ü
- Between 1983 and 2004, refugees were mostly resettled to large metropolitan areas: in California (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Jose, Sacramento), the MidAtlantic region (New York) and the Midwest (Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul)
REFUGEES ADMITTED in 2016 FY
- Democratic Republic of Congo(16,370) ; 2. Syria (12,587); 3. Burma (12,347) ; 4. Iraq (9,880) ; 5. Somalia (9,020)
Top two sending countries between 2006-2016: 1. Burma (159,692) 2. Iraq (135,643).
9 VOLUNTARY AGENCIES (VOLAGS)
PROVIDING RECEPTION FOR REFUGEES BASED ON AGREEMENTS WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT
1. Church World Service (CWS) 2. Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) 3. Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) 4. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) 5. International Rescue Committee (IRC) 6. US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) 7. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) 8. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)->Catholic Charities 9. World Relief Corporation (WR)
Organizations providing services to Immigrant Communities that you can support
1. Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights 2. New York Immigration Coalition 3. Immigrant Defense Project 4. Black Alliance for Just Immigration 5. Counsel on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) 6. Families for Freedom 7. Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights 8. New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC 9. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 10. Southern Poverty Law Center
GOALS OF SOCIAL POLICES FOR REFUGEES
Economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. (The Refugee Act of 1980 INA §411.1.):
“earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant.” (DHHS, Code of Federal Regulations -Title 45: Public Welfare, December 2005).
CHALLENGES DURING THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States
01/27/2017 (1) suspended entry from 7 Muslim countries, (2) extreme vetting, (3) pausing refugee resettlement • Several court rulings enjoined various parts of this executive order 03/06/2017 (1) suspended entry from 6 Muslim countries (2) extreme vetting, (3) pausing refugee resettlement • on June 26th the Supreme Court decided in favour of some aspects of Trump’s executive orders • On June 30th The U.S. Department of State published guidance regarding the admission of refugees: only those refugees who already have close relatives in the U.S. are allowed to enter the U.S. 10/24/2017 Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities
EXECUTIVE ORDERS Enhancing public safety in the Interior of the United States
01/25/2017: Executive order 13768 (1) Removal priorities: broadens categories of non citizens prioritized for removal (2) State/local cooperation in immigration enforcement (3) Sanctuary jurisdictions: federal funds to be withheld from jurisdictions that prohibit exchanging information with DHS regarding immigration status of any individual (4) Hiring 10,00 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers (5) Reporting on immigration status from prisons Developments: 32.6% increase in arrests of removable citizens (between January and March 2017 compared to 2016 ); doubled arrests of individuals without criminal records; Attorney General sends letters to sanctuary cities asking to provide evidence for comply with these orders (Including NYC, LA, Chicago) ; NYC declares to limit cooperation with ICE (e.g. IDNYC)
ASSISTANCE FOR REFUGES JEOPARDIZED 2016 FY: • A rate of 270 refugees a day • 85,994 refugees planned to be resettled 2017: • A rate of 122 refugees a day • 50,000 refugees planned and less than that planned for 2016
Federal budget cuts, as a result resettlement agencies are reducing their staff in the US and worldwide, welfare programs suspended for some period of time
ON THE GROUND
• What is the impact of suspending refugee resettlement for 24 hours? • Imagine three types of security screenings lasting up to 3 years, each valid for around 90 days, different for every family member • During this 24 hour period hundreds of families had to start the screening process from the beginning • What is the impact of the suspension of social programs, e.g. Matching Grant (MG)? • Eligibility to participate in MG only up to 30 days upon arrival • Most of NYC VOLAGs suspended enrolling to MG for a couple of months • Thousands of refugees and asylees irreversibly lost their chance to participate in the program and are left unassisted
WHAT CAN WE DO?
• With your local community and local refugee resettling agency sponsor resettlement of a refugee family • Volunteer in a refugee resettlement agency: • Help with English language conversations (e.g. 1on1)–often provided by retired volunteers • Help with case work: welcome arriving refugees, prepare a house and welcome meal for them, assist at doctors appointments, sign up children to school • Organize a trip as part of cultural orientation • Organize celebrations (e.g. welcoming Thanksgiving for refugee community) • Join community gardening (IRC) • Help at Youth Academies
Do you have questions about assistance for refugees? Do you want to assist refugees and don’t know how to start?
Write to me! Karolina Lukasiewicz firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, watch a movie about Syrian refugees resettled to New Jersey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY4mI12OMjE