Since 2017, the United States has dramatically decreased its budget for refugee resettlement, increasing barriers to services that help refugees meet their basic needs. For us, as anthropologists, given the relationships that are cultivated through long-term ethnographic research, it is impossible to ignore the detrimental effects of national policy changes in a political environment that is unlikely to change due to our policy recommendations. In addition, the stated needs of the communities with which we work often require immediate solutions. How then, can we, as applied academic anthropologists, collaborate to immediately apply our methods and expertise to refugee resettlement in the United States? Despite the promise of a new administration, this is especially important within the context of the rapid national decrease in funding over the last four years that has resulted in the neglect of refugees in often discriminatory ways. Within this context, and in response to anthropologists’ recent criticism of urgent approaches to research during times of “crisis,” we examine the possibilities for and complications of what we are terming immediate anthropology.

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