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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

June 06, 2016 New York City—The State Department today released its official resettlement numbers for May, indicating that eight months into the fiscal year it has resettled a total of only 2,805 Syrian refugees,...
Public Radio International | June 03, 2016



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...