Creating a Community That Welcomes the Stranger

Are you curious about the refugee resettlement screening process?

This White House infographic explains the process in-depth. A refugee is a person who is outside of his or her country of nationality and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her: race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group. Refugees, unlike immigrants, leave their country because they have no other choice.

Each year, the President authorizes the amount of refugees that the U.S. will allow entry. In recent years, that number has been between 50 and 75,000. Before admission to the U.S., each refugee undergoes an extensive interviewing, screening and security clearance process administered by the Dept. of Homeland Security. They are also vetted by multiple other government agencies. This process takes 18 to 24 months. Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States.

Once they are approved for resettlement in the U.S., nine national resettlement organizations receive refugees and provide cultural orientation, initial housing, English language training, workforce preparation, getting kids into school and medical care. This initial help is supported by funding from the U.S. government and private sources. Most refugees are expected to be financially self-sufficient within 90 days.

Take Action
The House recently passed the "American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015" that makes it nearly impossible to resettle refugees from Syria and Iraq. We are concerned that the Senate will take up similar legislation, including efforts to halt the United States refugee resettlement program.

Call your Senators using the Congressional switchboard: 1-866-961-4293, and let them know you stand for welcome for all refugees. 

According to Congressional offices, callers expressing fear of refugees or demanding an end to refugee resettlement are outnumbering pleas to welcome Syrian refugees by a ratio of 100:1. Your voice can make a difference.