Seeking Refuge A new american experience

A Refugee's Journey to the United States

Despite claims that accepting refugees poses a threat for national security, the process of becoming accepted to the United States is rigorous and comprehensive, taking up to two years before completion. Steps include:

1. Registration with the United Nations.

2. Interview with the United Nations.

3. Refugee status granted by the United Nations.

4. Referral for resettlement in the United States.

5. Interview with State Department contractors.

6. First background check.

7. Higher-level background check for some.

8. Another background check.

9. First fingerprint screening; photo taken.

10. Second fingerprint screening.

11. Third fingerprint screening.

12. Case reviewed at United States immigration headquarters.

13. Some cases referred for additional review.

14. Extensive, in-person interview with Homeland Security officer.

15. Homeland Security approval is required.

16. Screening for contagious diseases.

17. Cultural orientation class.

18. Matched with an American resettlement agency.

19. Multi-agency security check before leaving for the United States.

20. Final security check at an American airport.

Integration Outcomes of Refugees

  • Education levels: Refugees, both male and female, were as likely to have a higher level degree (Bachelors or above) as their U.S. born counterparts.
  • Employment levels: Refugee men were more likely to be employed than U.S. born male citizens and female refugees were as likely as U.S. born females.
  • Income levels: Despite comparable levels of education and employment refugees have lower median levels of income than immigrants and U.S. born citizens.

An analysis of data shows that as refugee’s time in the United States increases, their level of income and rates of public benefit participation approach parity with those of U.S. born and other immigrants (Migration Policy Institute). Findings support the claim that refugees become self-supporting over time, despite being more economically disadvantaged than any other group of refugees before.

Become an Advocate


  • Send a letter to the President and your members of Congress to allow a higher number of refugees to enter.
  • Send a letter to your state government urging them to welcome refugees in your state.


Voice your support by calling your senator and representatives.

Senator Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841

Representative Sauld Carbajal: (202) 225-3601

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [City, State], and I support refugee resettlement. I strongly oppose President Trump’s executive order against refugees – both the original and the rewritten version. The order will bar individuals from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen; grind refugee resettlement from all countries to a halt; and reduce the number of refugees we welcome to 50,000, a historic low. This is morally reprehensible and does not reflect the welcome for refugees I see in my community every day. I urge you to do everything in your power to see this executive order rescinded.” (Refugee Council USA)


The best way to make your voice heard by the White House and the President is tweeting at them. Suggested tweets:

  • .@realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse Don’t stop welcoming refugees. Resettlement demonstrates the best of our values #RefugeesWelcome
  • .@realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse Keep America welcoming. Refugee resettlement is a proud American legacy with bipartisan support #RefugeesWelcome
  • .@RealDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse: The new executive order is still unconstitutional & we are still against it. #RefugeesWelcome

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