Refugee resettlement in the US
Refugee resettlement in the United States is intended to provide a safe haven to those fleeing oppression and war. The Refugee Act was passed in 1980 in order to systametize refugee entry into the United States and to better provide a standard array of services to refugees. More than 2 million refugees have been resettled in the United States in the first 25 years after the Refugee Act was passed.1
Since 1975, approximately 2.5 million people have been resettled in the United States. As of 2007, 10 countries had resettlement programs. Of these countries, the United States accepts more than twice the number of refugees accepted by all of the other countries combined.1
The Department of State's Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) oversees the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. After one year, refugees are expected to apply for permanent residence (commonly referred to as a green card) and, after five years in the United States, a refugee is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.6
A resettlement "case" consists of the principal applicant, his or her spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21. Additional relatives - the extended family - may be considered for resettlement on a case by case basis.7
Refugees in Colorado
Refugee resettlement comprises 10 percent of legal immigration into the United States. However, refugees are disproportionately settled in metropolitan communities. As of May, 2012, a total of 8,144 refugees have been resettled in Colorado.5 Denver ranked 24th in the number of refugees resettled from 1983 to 2004, with 15,848 refugees living in Denver in the year 2000.1
Colorado maintains a Colorado Refugee Services Program.8 The following FAQ is provided by the State of Colorado Department of Human Services:9
Who is a refugee?
A refugee is a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." This definition comes from the Refugee Act of 1980 which takes its definition of refugee from the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol.
Who is an asylee?
When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum – the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that his or her fear of persecution in his or her home country is well-founded.
How many refugees are resettled in the U.S.?
In recent years the annual admissions levels for refugees has been set at 76,000 persons. Each year, after consultation with Congress, the U.S. Department of State, and refugee-related agencies, the President signs a Presidential Determination regarding the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. The 2012 Presidential Determination allows for up to 76,000 refugees.
How many refugees are resettled in Colorado?
Last year , 1878 refugees were resettled in Colorado. In 2012, 2000 refugees are projected to be resettled in Colorado. (Click here for additional data.)
Where are refugees resettled in Colorado?
The majority of refugees are resettled in the Denver metro area. Approximately 100 refugees are resettled in Colorado Springs each year and Larimer County is beginning to receive refugees.
Where do refugees come from?
Refugees are resettled from many different countries around the world. Over the last few years the countries with the highest number of resettled refugees are from: Burma; Iraq; Bhutan; and Somalia. (Click here for additional data.)
What is the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP)?
CRSP is a division of the Colorado Department of Human Services and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, under the authority of the Refugee Act of 1980. Its goal is to ensure effective resettlement of officially designated refugees and to promote refugee self sufficiency and integration.
Where does funding come from for refugee resettlement?
Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement. (For an overview of programs and funding, click here.)
Who provides services to refugees?
CRSP works with many community partners, but primarily with three designated refugee resettlement agencies (often referred to as VOLAGS): African Community Center, Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services and Lutheran Family Services Refugee and Asylee Programs. (Click on each item for a contractor and principal partner resources map and extended stakeholders and partnership list.)
What services do refugees receive?
Services include, but are not limited to: ESL classes, job training and employment placement, cash assistance, legal services, and health care.
Refugee resettlement is a voluntary program. Cities can choose whether to participate in the program. As of October 1, 2011, withdrawal from the refugee program is allowed per current law:
1. "Refugee Resettlement in Metropolitan America", By Audrey Singer and Jill H. Wilson, (The Brookings Institution, March, 2007). Published online by the Migration Policy Institute.
2. Audrey Singer and Jill H. Wilson, "From 'There' to 'Here': Refugee Resettlement in Metropolitan America," (The Brookings Institution 2006).
3. Office of Refugee Resettlement. 2004. Report to the Congress, FY 2004.
4. Code of Federal Regulations:
Title 45 - Public Welfare Volume: 2
Date: 1999-10-01; Original Date: 1999-10-01
Title: Section 400.301 - Withdrawal from the refugee program.
Context: Title 45 - Public Welfare. Subtitle B - Regulations Relating to Public Welfare. CHAPTER IV - OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. PART 400 - REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.
5. US Department of State Refugee Processing Center, Reports - Admissions and Arrivals.
6. US Department of State - Refugee Admissions.
7. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
9. Colorado Department of Human Services - Refugee Resettlement - FAQ.