Who are refugees?
Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their home country and are unable to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, nationality, religion, or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. All refugees coming to the U.S. have been given legal residency status and permission to work upon their arrival in the United States.
Asylum-seekers are individuals who have sought international protection and whose claims for refugee status have not yet been determined.
Internally displaced persons are people or groups of individuals who have been forced to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of, or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural- or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an international border. For purposes of UNHCR’s statistics, this population only includes conflict-generated IDPs to whom the Office extends protection and/or assistance. The IDP population includes people in an IDP-like situation. The statistics and images below are from a 2011 report done by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.
Most refugees who come to the United States have lived for years or even decades in refugee camps outside their home country. More than likely, refugees have witnessed horrific tragedies which have deeply affected their families and communities.
All arriving refugees are resettled through a Voluntary Agency (“Volag”) that has a contract with the federal government to provide basic services for refugees during their first 90 days in the U.S. Arrive Ministries is one of five Volags located in the Twin Cities.