There are currently between 17.2 million refugees in the world today who have been forced to flee their homelands because of persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. One of the most common questions asked of Arrive Ministries staff is “how do refugees get chosen to come to the U.S. and Minnesota?”
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is only one of many ways the U.S. supports the protection and search for durable solutions for refugees in the world. In fact, third country refugee resettlement is often the method of last resort.
The United States is a nation founded by immigrants. Because our founding fathers understood what it was like to live under oppression, they enshrined basic human liberties in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Among these are democracy, freedom of religion, speech and assembly, protection from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to due process of the law. These are things which many people around the world live without, even today.
For over 200 years, the U.S. has offered refuge to people fleeing persecution in their home countries. The Statue of Liberty stands today as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.
Major refugee groups resettling in the Twin Cities:
- refugees from the Former Soviet Union
- Hmong from Laos
- Karen from Burma
In addition to the ethnic specific information, the following websites provide useful background information:
- Cultural Profiles – Cultural Orientation Resource Center
- Background Notes / Country Profiles – Department of State
- Profiles of ethnic people groups of the world with the least followers of Jesus Christ – Joshua Project