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Refugees Define America

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Q & A

Q. How many refugees has the United States resettled?

A. Since 1945, approximately five million refugees have resettled in the United States from 70 countries

Q. When did the United States start accepting refugees?

A. The term refugee wasn’t defined until the mid-twentieth century, but their predecessors have been coming to American shores since the pilgrims fled religious persecution centuries prior. Legalization of refugee admissions began on December 22,1945, when President Harry S. Truman allowed for 40,000 refugees from Europe to come to the United States.

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Latest News and Press Releases

September 30, 2016 New York City - As today marks the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, Human Rights First applauds the Obama Administration for reaching its goal of resettling 85,000 refugees, including at least 10,...
August 12, 2016 By Kristina Doan Earlier this summer the Center for American Progress and Fiscal Policy Institute released a report titled “Refugee Integration in the United States,” examining how well refugees...
June 29, 2016 Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today applauded members of the Senate Appropriations Committee for including 4,000 visas for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and extending the...

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Resources

Factsheet | September 19, 2018
U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis and the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program The Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was created for Iraqis who were employed in Iraq by or on behalf of...
Report | January 18, 2018
Punishing Refugees and Migrants: The Trump Administration's Misuse of Criminal Prosecutions Download As the world continues to face the largest displacement crisis since World War II,...
Letter | February 21, 2017
The Honorable John F. Kelly Secretary of Homeland Security The Honorable Rex Tillerson Secretary of State Re: U.S. Global Leadership on Human Rights and Refugee Protection ...

Our Experts

As the director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program, Eleanor Acer oversees Human Rights First’s research and advocacy on issues relating to refugee protection, asylum, and migrants’...

As Senior Associate in Refugee Protection, Olga Byrne conducts research relating to the protection of refugees, U.S. asylum law...

As Legal Director, Hardy leads and oversees management of the organization’s legal initiatives—including its pro bono legal representation, amicus brief, and legal outreach efforts...