Catholic Church Resettles Nearly 18,000 Refugees in 2008;
Largest Resettlement Effort in United States
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church resettled 17,823 refugees in 2008, through Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB/MRS) and its network of diocesan entities, representing 30 percent of the total refugees admitted to the nation. Overall, the U.S. government admitted 60,192 refugees during the fiscal year that ended September 30.
This number represents a 31 percent increase over last year in the number of cases handled by MRS. In 2007, MRS resettled 13,631 of 48,281 refugees or 28 percent of all refugees admitted into the United States.
Generally, the largest percentage of refugees arrive in the United States during the last three months of the federal fiscal year, July thorough September. This so-called "bulge" creates an enormous impact and strain on the service capacity of receiving dioceses.
"Despite this situation, the diocesan staff, parishes, and other community entities involved in their resettlement once again went above and beyond the call of duty to help refugees build new lives," said Johnny Young, executive director of MRS.Â
In 2008, MRS resettled people from 45 countries. The largest groups came from Burma, Iraq, Cuba, Bhutan, Burundi, Somalia, Iran, Vietnam, Congo, and Liberia.
The Church is especially proud of its "Unaccompanied Minor" program.
Hmmm.... perhaps, though, they should have rethought that bit.