Refugees come to the US to find asylum from poor and dangerous conditions in their home country. Many refugees come from war-torn lands or countries that persecute certain people based on ethnicity or religion. When these refugees arrive in the US, they often have nothing. Luckily, refugees have resources available to them through the government and private charities.
Who is a Refugee?
A refugee is someone forced from their country by war, oppression, or natural disasters. Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) clarifies who qualifies for refugee status and how they're legally categorized.
The different classifications of allowed refugees include:
- Principal refugee (RE-1)
- Spouse of the principal refugee (RE-2)
- Child of the principal refugee (RE-3)
- Collateral relatives of the principal refugee (RE-4)
From Where Does the US Accept Refugees?
The US government determines what countries they accept refugees from and how many. The top 5 countries the US received refugees from in 2021 include:
- Democratic Republic of Congo - 4,891
- Syria - 1,246
- Afghanistan - 872
- Ukraine - 803
- Myanmar - 772
Every state creates its own laws on refugees. A refugee's first point of contact is the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The PRM works with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate the entry process.
Resources for Refugees
The state offers refugees refugee cash assistance and refugee medical assistance for the first couple of months in America.
The RCA amount depends on the number of people in the family:
- Single person - $230/month
- Family of 2 - $363/Month
- Family of 3 - $485/month
- Family of 4 - $611/month
The US The Office of Refugee Resettlement also offers a wide range of resources to American refugees, such as housing assistance and educational opportunities. They also provide assistance assimilating to American culture and processing trauma caused by conditions at home.
Refugees can also find assistance through private charities that support their cause. For example, many organizations have sprung up in support of the people forced out of Ukraine.
Many trailblazers in history entered the United States as a refugee, including Albert Einstein. Refugee assistance gets refugees into a safe space so that they can contribute toward a society in a place that accepts them. For more information on how to provide help for refugees, contact a professional or an organization in an area near you.