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All too many Refugees who are left mired in refugee camps around the world never have the opportunity to realize the full potential of their God-given skills and talents. Long term solutions need to be implemented so that refugees are not forced to remain in camps but can reintegrate into society and become contributing members of it. Click here to learn how you can support the refugee resettlement system in the United States. 

Refugees are individuals who have fled their countries of origin and who meet the United Nations’ criteria of having a “well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”  The 2008 World Refugee Survey reports that there are more than 14 million refugees worldwide.

Each year the President of the United States authorizes the admission of a certain number of refugees into the country.  This determination is based on a consultative process between Congress, the President and various federal agencies.  In recent years, the U.S. has accepted between 50,000 to 75,000 refugees per year.  Before admission to the U.S., each refugee undergoes an extensive interviewing, screening and security clearance process.

Refugees, having suffered great loss, including loss of their homes, livelihoods, possessions and oftentimes families, need assistance starting over in a new country.

Their initial needs are many: food, clothing, shelter, employment, English language training, and orientation to a new community and culture.  In partnership with its affiliates, the United States Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Servicesdepartment resettles approximately 30% of the refugees that arrive in the US each year.  The Catholic refugee resettlement network includes over 100 diocesan offices across the country and in Guam and Puerto Rico. Resettling refugees provides an extraordinary opportunity for countless Americans to take an active part in offering a caring and supportive environment for refugees as they begin new lives. Without volunteers and resources from the community and parishes, MRS and its affiliated diocesan resettlement offices would be unable to accomplish the tremendous task of giving refugees new hope and the opportunity to begin again.

USCCB/MRS continually searches for innovative and cost-effective approaches to help refugees rebuild their lives. Over the years, we have found the best approach to resettlement is one that emphasizes early employment for refugees as the means to self-sufficiency while addressing their transitional needs. The courage and resiliency of refugees are shown in the high rate of employment found among refugees at just six months after their arrival in the U.S.

Resettling refugees provides an extraordinary opportunity for countless Americans to take an active part in offering a caring and supportive environment for refugees as they begin new lives. Without volunteers and resources from the community and parishes, USCCB/MRS and the diocesan resettlement offices would be unable to accomplish the tremendous task of giving refugees new hope and the opportunity to begin again.

Did You Know?
It is the commitment of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to serve and advocate for refugees, those seeking asylum, and other forced migrants, immigrants, and other people on the move. Special concern is given to the most vulnerable among these populations, such as, but not limited to, minors unaccompanied by parents or adult guardians and the victims of human trafficking.

 

You can also help by making a tax-deductible contribution to the National Catholic Fund for Migration and Refugee Services.

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