Department of State Releases Refugee Resettlement Fact Sheet

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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On October 21, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) released a Fact Sheet titled “Refugee Resettlement in the United States.” The Fact Sheet has a few interesting notes and charts that I would like to share with you.

The Refugee Resettlement System

The Fact Sheet explains how the refugee resettlement system works. “Resettlement” is where a refugee is transferred from a country in which he or she sought protection to a third country. Refugees are generally referred for resettlement to the United States by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees. The DOS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conduct security screenings, interviews, and health checks before resettling refugees. Resettlement Support Centers request sponsorship assistance from a U.S.-based resettlement agency for each refugee.

Refugee Resettlement for 2016

The United States plans to admit 85,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2016. This is a marked increase over the roughly 70,000 that were admitted in each year from 2013 to 2015. The Fact Sheet lists the approximate refugee admission targets for 2016:

  • 34,000 from the Near East and South Asia (of which at least 10,000 will be from Syria);
  • 25,000 from Africa;
  • 13,000 from East Asia;
  • 4,000 from Europe;
  • 3,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean; and
  • 6,000 unallocated to respond to emergent situations.

The following is a chart on the Fact Sheet showing the refugees admitted by region for Fiscal Years 2006-2015:

[Click image to view full size]

In addition, the Fact Sheet includes an interesting chart of the United States showing where refugees who were admitted between FY 2006-2015 have resettled:

[Click image to view full size]

Unsurprisingly, the chart shows that the four largest states by population (California, Texas, Florida, and New York) have had the most refugee resettlements in the period. The chart shows a general trend that refugees tend to resettle in highly populated states.