A refugee is “someone who has fled one’s home country and cannot return because of a credible fear of persecution on account of race, religion, political opinion, national origin, or social group.”
The U.S. has become home to 3.3 million refugees since 1971.
Less than 1% of refugees worldwide are chosen for resettlement to a third country. Applying for resettlement in no way guarantees a refugee that he or she will actually be chosen. In fact, most are not.
The U.S government follows an orderly and thorough process of investigation that must be satisfied before a refugee may enter this country. The screening process takes between 18 months and 3 years. A refugee is legally resettled and should not be confused with an undocumented immigrant. According to whitehouse.gov, a refugee undergoes a more rigorous screening process than any other person who enters the U.S.
Refugees undergo more rigorous screening than anyone else we allow into the United States. Here’s what the screening process looks like for them:
Where does GoTEN get involved in the process?
GoTEN works with the resettlement agencies (step 7) to assist in the resettlement process, once the refugees arrive in the U.S. Since each refugee receives limited financial support and must quickly become self-sufficient, there are many opportunities for volunteers to get involved and help welcome the newly arrived refugees.
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The Bible addresses the issue of “aliens in your land” and reminds us of God’s heart toward them:
– Leviticus 19:34 – “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself…”
– Hebrews 13:2 – “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (the word “hospitality” means, literally, “love the stranger.”)