Refugees are like everyone else in our diverse society: urban, rural, young, old, wealthy, poor, professionals, farmers, truck drivers, teachers, parents, children, Asian, African, European. American.
It’s what they carry inside them that sets them apart.
Refugees survive war, starvation, violence, oppression, and deprivation. They live for years in makeshift refugee camps, or in the shadows of foreign cities. They start their lives over with nothing, in strange places where they usually cannot speak the language.
Unlike immigrants who choose to come to the U.S., refugees typically do not make plans, save money, or sort through their belongings, carefully selecting what to bring with them. A refugee’s journey often begins in confusion, uncertainty, and fear. It can take months or years, through hardship and trauma, and still may not end in a secure life.
It is a journey with no end destination. Refugees are plunged into a flow of events they have no control over.
Only a very small fraction of the world’s refugee population eventually resettles in the United States. Resettlement allows refugees to begin life again. Some will never replace their lost sense of home, but many find peace in their adopted homeland.