USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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About USCRI Des Moines

USCRI Des Moines
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Field Office in Des Moines, Iowa (USCRI Des Moines) opened its doors in 2010 to help refugees build new lives.  Through a wide range of direct and collaborative programs, USCRI Des Moines helps refugees successfully adapt to life in the United States.  USCRI Des Moines focuses on meeting the immediate basic needs of new arrivals, assisting refugees in obtaining early employment and achieving self-sufficiency, and nurturing community integration for new Americans.  USCRI Des Moines brings hope and opportunity to the lives of refugees and immigrants by defending human rights, promoting self-sufficiency, and forging community partnerships.

What is a Refugee?
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.  A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.  Refugees differ from other immigrants in that they do not have the choice to remain in their home country.  Refugees flee their countries to save their lives.  They run from war and persecution, often losing beloved family members along the way.  Many refugees then spend years and sometimes decades in substandard refugee camps.  Less than one percent of all refugees get the chance to leave a camp and resettle in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, or other countries that resettle refugees.

What is Refugee Resettlement?
Each year, Americans welcome refugees to the United States.  The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement partner with agencies like USCRI Des Moines to assist refugees through the resettlement process.  When a refugee arrives in America, he or she usually comes with little more than the clothes on his or her back.  Organizations like USCRI Des Moines meet refugees at the airport and help them to begin building new lives. 

For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions >>

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