Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for the Stateless in the U.S.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 12 million people around the world are stateless—that is, living without the recognition or protection of any country. 

An undetermined number live in the United States. And while the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized statelessness as a “condition deplored in the international community of democracies” with “disastrous consequences,” U.S. law does not afford specific protections to the stateless. Nor does it provide any avenue for those caught in limbo to acquire lawful status or citizenship. The stateless are left to live on the margins without any means to support themselves lawfully and in constant fear of exposure.

The UNHCR and the Open Society Justice Initiative have produced a new report that looks at the problem of statelessness in the United States. The report offers recommendations to aid policy makers and legislators in implementing changes to improve the lives of stateless people—changes that would allow them to participate as full members of society. 

Please join us at the Open Society Foundations’ Washington Office for a luncheon panel discussion.


  • Vincent Cochetel, Regional Representative for the USA and the Caribbean, UNHCR
  • Julia Harrington Reddy, Senior Legal Officer for Equality and Citzenship, Open Society Justice Initiative
  • Sarnata Reynolds, Statelessness Program Manager, Refugees International 
  • U.S. Government official (to be confirmed)
  • Bill Frelick, Director of the Refugee Program, Human Rights Watch (moderator)

RSVP to [email protected] by December 7.