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HHS and State Department Unveil “Welcome Corps” Initiative to Open Up Refugee Sponsorship to Individual Americans

The U.S. Departments of State and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of the “Welcome Corps,” an initiative that allows individual Americans to house and support refugees as it seeks to fulfill its commitment to drastically increase the number of foreign nationals admitted to the U.S.

The “Welcome Corps” will require refugee sponsors to go through a screening process and put up $2,275 per refugee to provide initial support for the individual or family’s first three months, such as security deposit for an apartment, new clothes, and furniture. After that period, the refugees will become eligible for federal assistance. Sponsors are expected to help the refugees find work, enroll their kids in school, learn public transit options, and generally transition into their new lives. 

The Biden Administration said it hopes to identify 10,000 sponsors in the Welcome Corps' first year, who can then sponsor 5,000 individuals. The Administration said it is aiming for qualified refugees to begin arriving in June.

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