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What is a Refugee?

According to the Immigration and National Act (INA), a refugee is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  The two main causes of refugee today are war and violence.  


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHR) Global Trends report, there are 25.4 million refugees at the end of 2017.  In order for the international community to share the load of responsibilities to help the refugee community worldwide, the United Nation started a resettlement program to allow the refugees to resettle to the developing countries.  

The ceiling of refugee admission in the United States in 2018 is 45,000 refugees, in which 22,491 of those have been admitted and resettled in the different States (US Department of State - Refugee Admission Statistics). The following chart shows the top 10 States that resettle refugees.


*Data for FY are partial and refer to resettlement between October 1, 2016 and April 30,2017. 

Source: MPI analysis of State Department WRAPS data. 

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