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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

May 20, 2016 Amnesty International released a poll today documenting people’s attitudes in 27 different countries towards welcoming refugees. Encouragingly, the vast majority want their countries to accept...
May 18, 2016 Washington, D.C. - Human Rights First today applauded a group of 27 senators for expressing support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees and calling on the Obama Administration to meet its goal to...
May 12, 2016 Syrian refugees have become the scapegoats for much of Americans’ anxieties about terrorism, despite the fact that they are rigorously vetted. In fact, experts—including former national security...

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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...