Early Signs of Success: 2,500 Refugees Resettled in the U.S. Through the Safe Mobility Office (SMO) Initiative So Far (MATTHEW LA CORTE, DECEMBER 13, 2023, Niskanen Center)


Seven months after the announced launch of the Safe Mobility Office (SMO) initiative, data exclusively obtained by the Niskanen Center shows that approximately 2,500 refugees have arrived in the U.S. so far as part of the program. More than 10,000 migrants have already been referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and are undergoing refugee processing — many of whom will be resettled in the United States in the next few months.

Given that SMOs are still in their early stages, these findings suggest the program is already moderately successful. Especially considering President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 refugee plan calls for up to 50,000 refugees to be resettled from Latin America and the Caribbean, the early progress proves that the SMO initiative can lead to expanded resettlement in the hemisphere. This region’s scale-up and attention to processing are impressive, considering that just 6,000 refugees were resettled from those regions in FY23.