Families in Limbo: What the Biden Administration Can Do Now to Address Unreasonable Delays in Refugee and Asylee Family Reunification
Protecting and welcoming individuals fleeing oppression is written into U.S. law: more than 40 years ago, Congress passed the Refugee Act, which declares it to be the “historic policy of the United States to respond to the urgent needs” of refugees. The Refugee Act also reflects our complementary interest in ensuring family unity. This is important because during their difficult and sometimes chaotic flight from persecution and dangerous conditions to safety, family members often become separated. The Follow-to-Join (FTJ) process was built into the U.S. refugee system to address this problem by creating a pathway specifically for refugee and asylee family reunification. This report outlines how the “Follow-to-Join” process has been hampered by actions taken by the Trump Administration and how the Biden Administration can improve the process.