Becca Heller Speaks on US Delays in Processing Refugees

Former Skadden fellow Becca Heller ('10), director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, was quoted in a New York Times article about refugees who face lengthy wait times to enter the U.S. ("Refugees, Stuck in Grinding U.S. Process, Wait and Hope," Oct. 10). In the case of "Adnan," whose U.S. resettlement papers were filed by Becca's organization, his move to the U.S. is delayed by the temporary closure of the U.S. Embassy compound outside Beirut, preventing American immigration officials from coming to Lebanon to interview potential refugees. "Refugee advocates say the delays ... explain why some people risk their lives and pay smugglers to help them sail to Europe," the article said. "Nothing happens with their case for two years, and then they get on a boat," Becca said. "It's hard to advise people against that."