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Institute Welcomes Launch of Private Sponsorship “Welcome Corps” Program

January 20, 2023 | The Biden administration announced this week the launch of a new private sponsorship program for refugees called “Welcome Corps.” The program will allow Americans to sponsor refugees and directly provide support during the initial resettlement process.

The International Institute of Minnesota welcomes all resettlement options that safely welcome and support refugees in Minnesota.

“This program is a complement to the work our expert Refugee Resettlement team does every day,” said Jane Graupman, Executive Director of the International Institute of Minnesota. “Our community has always been supportive of the Institute’s work, and this formalizes a way for citizens to be more directly involved.”

The Institute has resettled more than 25,000 refugees since 1974.

We believe private sponsors will find the most success when paired with experienced refugee resettlement experts, such as the International Institute of Minnesota. By working together, refugees who rely on these essential services will receive the most thorough and comprehensive support possible.


Next Steps

Nonprofit resettlement agencies, such as the Institute, are preparing for how to implement the new sponsorship model so that volunteers are fully supported and prepared. The program’s implementation will take time.

Since the formal inception of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), the U.S. State Department has primarily partnered with non-profit resettlement agencies nationwide, including the International Institute of Minnesota, to provide initial resettlement assistance to newcomers.

The Welcome Corps’ formation comes after the Uniting for Ukraine program and a parole process for Venezuelans were launched in 2022. Both programs drew on U.S.-based sponsors to welcome newcomers.

The Welcome Corps is meant to increase the country’s capacity to welcome higher numbers of refugees and be part of the Biden administration’s efforts to strengthen, modernize and expand USRAP.

The Institute’s dedicated Refugee Resettlement team provides an array of services including finding and furnishing housing before refugees’ arrival, enrolling refugee children in school, connecting adults to employment counseling services and much more.

“The Welcome Corps will complement the longstanding work of the resettlement agencies in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which will remain the backbone of the American response to forced displacement worldwide,” said Eskinder Negash, CEO and President of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Institute’s parent organization.

The International Institute of Minnesota, founded in 1919, helps New Americans achieve self-sufficiency and full membership in American life.

To become a sponsor or to request more information: sign up at Welcome.US.

If you are a member of the public and have questions for Institute, please leave a voicemail with your contact information at (651) 377-8673. Someone from the Institute’s team will return your call as soon as possible.

The International Institute of Minnesota relies on donations and volunteers from our community to support our Refugee Services work.

For press inquiries, please contact:
International Institute of Minnesota: ablackwood@iimn.org
Welcome Corps: press@welcome.us
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants: aplazasrocha@uscrimail.org