For most registered refugees in Jordan, resettlement is the golden ticket–the opportunity to reunite with family, obtain work, and start down a path to citizenship in places like the United States, Australia, Canada, or Europe. Yet, according to the UNHCR, while around 14% of refugees meet the criteria for resettlement, just 1% are actually ever resettled.

Refugee resettlement is the most-vetted, most laborious, and most exclusive pathway for human mobility in the world. Eligibility is determined on a dual track–first by the UN to determine if you are a refugee, and then by the host country to decide if they want you.

Each country has its own resettlement quota and ceiling. In 2023, the quota in the U.S. was 125,000 people, yet fewer than half of those spots were filled due to staffing and funding shortages.

In Episode 5 of the Collateral Repair Podcast, we connected with Kitti Murray–CEO and founder of Refuge Coffee, which provides job training for resettled refugees in Clarkston, Georgia (the state not the country). Kitti talks to us about what resettlement looks like on the other side of all this waiting and gives keen insight into the new journey that awaits people as they navigate finding a job, a home, and a community.

If we’re going to talk about ‘durable solutions’ for refugees, it’s crucial that we understand how current legal processes are–and, more commonly, are NOT–working for the people who have been displaced. If just 1% of refugees globally can expect resettlement, what is the fate of the other 99%?

What do you think? What can we do to open new, accessible channels for mobility to those who need them? I have my own ideas…but I’d love to hear yours, too.

Enjoy the episode,

Zach Goodwin

Communications and Fundraising Intern