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Monday, October 05, 2015



Refugees 101


Who are refugees?

Any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country 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. 
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Who are asylum seekers?
Asylum seekers are people who are in the US, or at received at a point of entry into the US who cannot or will not return to their country of origin due to fear of persecution. Like refugees, the fear of persecution must be based on the asylee’s race, nationality, political opinions or membership in a particular social group. Asylum seekers undergo the process of legalization while in the US.
Asylee Eligibilty for Resettlement Assistance



How long have refugees been resettling in Idaho? 

Idaho entered the refugee resettlement arena in 1975 when Governor John Evans established the Indochinese Refugee Assistance Program in response to the need for all states to participate in the resettlement of refugees fleeing the overthrow of U.S. supported governments in Southeast Asia. The Refugee Act of 1980 was passed to set up systems to deal with the increasing number of refugees from Vietnam, and other countries of the world. In Idaho, the process of resettlement became more formalized under this Act.
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Where do refugees come from?

Refugees come to our community from all over the world.

The top five countries of origin for refugees resettled in Idaho in 2011 are Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Congo and Afghanistan.

For a detailed, updated list on recently arrived refugees, CLICK HERE.
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Do refugees choose their resettlement city?

Refugees do not choose their resettlement city. Unless there is a family member they are reunifying with, refugees are subject to the process of resettlement on the national level, and have no choice where they are initially settled. However, they are able to move from their initial resettlement city to another one should they choose to.
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Who works with refugees in Idaho?
Follow this link to find a list of resettlement agencies and information about the English Language Center. CLICK HERE!
How are refugee service agencies connected in Idaho?
CLICK HERE for an organizational chart
Where can I find more information on English Language Learners?
The National Center for Family Literacy has many resources on their website including information regarding Culture and English Language Learners, Principles of Adult Learning, Working with Adult Literacy Learners, and Working with Refugee Families. Visit their website: http://www.famlit.org/


What services are provided to the resettlement programs?
Idaho Office for Refugees: Core Services & Extended Services


How are refugees resettled in the US? 
Read about the security screening process here.
How can I learn more about refugees who are coming to Idaho?
Below you will find links to more information about refugees who have resettled in Idaho.
*This list is not intended to be all encompassing, and the information provided on these links are the intellectual property of the organization who produced the materials. 
If you have a resource we should add, please email us by clicking HERE.

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For backgrounders on other cultures, visit CAL's Refugee Backgrounder Webpage.

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Local Updates

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August 2015
Boise - Idaho linguists aid communication, help preserve languages
March 2015
Boise - Treasure Valley schools bring refugee and local students together
November 2014
October 2014
Boise - How A Boise Woman Is Turning African-Inspired Handbags Into A College Education
August 2014
Boise - Refugees transition into student life at Boise State 
Boise - Boise's thriving international refugee community