On Tuesday November 10th, GMF’s Berlin office hosted Mr. León Rodríguez, the director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Mr. Ted Kim, deputy chief of the Asylum Division, USCIS for an informal lunch discussion titled: What is the United States doing in the refugee crisis? The role of USCIS as an Actor in Refugee Determination and Integration Policies.
Guests were welcomed by senior vice president of programs Ivan Vejvoda, and the discussion was moderated by Astrid Ziebarth, migration fellow with the europe program. The discussion focused on multiple facets of the work of USCIS, including asylum seeker registration, resettlement programs and integration initiatives.
The informal, off-the-record discussion featured various migration and integration experts from state ministries and the non-government sector. Discussions focused on the asylum division of USCIS, including its role in refugee determination in countries like Slovakia, its financing structure (fee funded), as well as general U.S. asylum policy and practices related to asylum seekers entering through the U.S.-Mexican border.