Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a refugee?
A: According to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is a person who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country.” There are more than 30 million refugees and forcibly displaced people in the world today, most of whom are women and children. Some of these people can never return to their countries of origin and therefore need to resettle in the United States or other safe countries.
Q: Who is eligible to resettle?
A: Applicants for refugee admission into the United States must meet all of the following criteria:
- Meet the definition of a refugee contained in Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
- Be among those refugees determined by the President to be of special humanitarian concern to the United States;
- Be otherwise admissible under U.S. law; and
- Not be firmly resettled in any third country.
Through resettlement, refugees gain legal protection – residency and often eventually citizenship – from governments who agree, on a case-by-case basis, to open up their communities to new members. Each year, the President of the United States signs a "Presidential Determination" stating how many refugees will be admitted by the U.S. during the year. Refugees must prove to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) that they fit the definition of a refugee. If approved, they are granted refugee status. Read more about Journey’s End resettlement services.
Q: What are the countries of origin of the refugees currently served by Journey’s End?
A: Refugees who we are currently assisting come from:
- Sierra Leone
- Somalia (Somali Bantu)
As well as many other places throughout the world.
Q: Who qualifies for refugee services?
A: People who are facing political, religious, or racial persecution in their native countries, who then flee their country to seek a better life. These individuals are then placed into an organization such as JERS to receive services to begin a new life here.