Refugee Resettlement in the United States

An explainer on the process refugees go through to relocate to the U.S. — a collaboration from Brittany and me…

From Brussels to Paris, the growing number of terror attacks in the West has bled both fear and ignorance around the number of Syrian refugees resettled in the United States. The Republican presidential frontrunner has even gone so far as to pledge that he will send resettled refugees back to Syria if elected. Yet, for all of the hand-wringing about the influx of potential jihadists, official government data tells another story.

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in March of 2011, just under 2,200 refugees have been admitted into the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, of the 70,000 refugees the United States was able to legally accept in the 2015 fiscal year, roughly 25% were from Burma, 20% from Iraq, and 13% from Somalia.  While the Obama Administration will raise the refugee cap to 85,000 to accommodate 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, Syrians will still make up less than 12% of the total admitted refugee population. Also, while the average processing time for refugees is 18 to 24 months, Syrian applications can take significantly longer because of security concerns and difficulties in verifying their information. Aid organizations currently put the actual processing time at 33 months.

Rather than just throwing more numbers at the reader, we decided to let he or she engage with the Syrian asylum application process directly via Typeform. A survey with style, easy on the eyes Typeform allows the designer to simulate a conversation through “logic jumps”, which adapts the survey based on a respondent’s answer. Try your hand at the journey here.