Our Mission is to Accompany, Serve and Advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. 


JRS/USA witnesses to God's presence in vulnerable and often forgotten people driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of their human rights.  


As one of the ten geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS/USA serves as the major refugee outreach arm of U.S. Jesuits and their institutional ministries, mobilizing their response to refugee situations in the U.S. and abroad. Through our advocacy and fund raising efforts, JRS/USA also provides support for the work of JRS throughout the world.  


JRS/USA gives help, hope, ear and voice to vulnerable people on the move by being present to and bearing witness to their plight; by relieving their human suffering and restoring hope; by addressing the root causes of their displacement and improving international responses to refugee situations. 


In addition, JRS/USA inspires the Ignatian family and others to respond together to the needs of refugees and displaced persons worldwide and forges strong partnerships with like-minded institutions and agencies devoted to the cause of refugees and displaced persons.


JRS works in more than 57 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.
JRS provides primary and secondary education to approximately 170,000 children, and undertakes advocacy to ensure that all displaced children are provided with a quality education.


Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.





Jesuit Refugee Service mourns the death of Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt in Syria
(Beirut) April 8, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has announced its closure for three days following the tragic loss of Jesuit priest Fr Frans van der Lugt. The whole JRS family is deeply saddened and shocked by his sudden death Monday morning.
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Jesuit priest: people of Homs hunger for normality
(Rome) February 10, 2014 — The United Nations this weekend evacuated hundreds of civilians wishing to leave the besieged area of Homs, Syria, and began delivery, with the Syrian Red Crescent, of humanitarian food and medical aid. Dutch Jesuit priest Fr Frans van der Lugt, the Superior of a monastery in Homs, has said he will remain in solidarity with whoever chooses to stay in the city.
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Take Action for Humane Immigration Reform
(Washington, D.C.) April 2, 2014 — Pope Francis visited the Italian island of Lampedusa last year to remember countless migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East who have lost their lives, sometimes forcibly turned back in rickety rafts while trying to reach Europe. Yesterday a delegation of U.S. Catholic Bishops visited the border to remember migrants who have died in the desert — a reminder of the true cost of inaction in the face of inhumane and uncaring policies.
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Praying with Refugees: Accompanying people in detention
(Washington, D.C.) April 1, 2014 — In the United States and many other countries, Jesuit Refugee Service actively works to assist refugees and asylum seekers in detention. The use of detention to discourage, control and punish asylum seekers has increased worldwide during the past decade.
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JRS Syria receives Pax Christi International Peace Award
(Rome) March 31, 2014 — The 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to Jesuit Refugee Service Syria for dedication in providing emergency relief to Syrians since the conflict began in 2011. Established in 1988, the Award honors contemporary individuals and organizations who make a stand for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world.
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JRS pastoral care in the Dominican Republic
(Washington, D.C.) March 26, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Mission & Identity Coordinator Fr. Kevin White S.J. travelled to the Dominican Republic from March 6-14 to see first-hand the pastoral work the Catholic Church is doing in her accompaniment of Haitian immigrants living in rural areas of high poverty while toiling in the country’s vast sugar cane fields.
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Outreach: sharing the Jesuit Refugee Service mission
(Washington, D.C.) March 23, 2014 — We launched the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Outreach Program in order to more fully involve students and parishioners at Jesuit institutions throughout the U.S. By reaching out directly to students and/or parishioners, we hope to spread awareness of the plight of refugees and forcibly displaced people around the world.
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(Video update) Catholic Bishops: Immigration reform needed to end suffering, redeem the nation
(Washington, D.C.) March 19, 2014 —The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, joined by bishops on the border, will travel to Nogales, Ariz., March 30 to April 1 to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrate Mass on behalf of the close to 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998.
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Iona College students learn about statelessness in the Dominican Republic
(Washington, D.C.) March 20, 2014 — The Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Outreach Coordinator visited Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. earlier this month to speak to students in the Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Challenges in a Post-Natural Disaster Context class prior to their service learning trip to the Dominican Republic.
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Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria
(Washington, D.C.) March 13, 2014 — March 15 marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is joining #WithSyria to shed light on the desperate situation and urge immediate and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to protect the millions of innocent children and families now under siege. (video update)
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Recent stories
CEOs from Largest U.S.-based Global NGO Alliance Call for Immediate, Unfettered Humanitarian Access in Syria
Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2014) — Fifty-three CEOs of major international nongovernmental organizations are calling on all parties to the Syrian conflict to “immediately allow and facilitate unfettered humanitarian access throughout Syria” in response to the biggest humanitarian crisis of our day.
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Take Action: Tell Congress Setting Quotas for Immigrant Detention is Wrong
(Washington, D.C. March 11, 2014 — Congress needs to hear from you today. Call and urge Congress to eliminate the detention bed quota, which requires DHS to keep 34,000 immigrants locked up in ICE detention facilities on any given day. This policy is unprecedented — no other law enforcement agency operates on a quota system.
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In Syria conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians
(Damascus) March 9, 2014 – Radicalized violence, displacement and poverty affect Syrians of all creeds. In what has always been a complex society, with many layers of social, religious and economic diversity, perpetrators of violence have been able to manipulate this heterogeneity to sow divisions among the population.
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Sharing the Jesuit Refugee Service mission with students
(Washington, D.C.) March 6, 2014 — Last Thursday, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Mission & Identity Coordinator Fr. Kevin White, S.J. spent the day sharing the work of JRS with 300 students Gonzaga College High School here in the District of Colombia. Fr. White shared some of his experiences working for JRS in South Sudan.
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Jesuit Refugee Service: The Way of the Cross
(Washington, D.C.) March 5, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is pleased to again offer an online version of the Way of the Cross. The Way of the Cross, also known as the Stations of the Cross, grew from the pious practices of pilgrimages to Jerusalem during the Middle Ages. This version has been updated with new reflections and photographs from JRS projects around the world.
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Praying with Refugees in Southern Africa: redefining our mission in life
Johannesburg, 1 March 2014 – One morning I received a visitor to our office, a young woman refugee whom I shall call Ayan*.
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Dem. Republic of Congo: entrepreneurial bicyclists
(Goma) February 27, 2014 — Trying to bring stability to displaced people in in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has become a major focus of Jesuit Refugee Service. One step in this direction has been to help people in Nzulo camp by providing microcredit to enable them to establish small business activities. Loans enable people to buy bikes they can use to transport coal, food and water to and from the camp.
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Safer deportation practices are a moral imperative
(Washington, D.C.) February 24, 2014 — Migrants are frequently deported from the United States after midnight without identity documents, prescription medications or their valuable personal belongings; and families are routinely split up during the deportation process. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA believes the U.S. must enact changes to improve security for newly deported migrants.
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NGOs urge U.S. to take proactive measures for peace in South Sudan and Central African Republic
(Washington, D.C.) February 18, 2014 — Twenty-six organizations, including Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, recommended the U.S. take a specific series steps "to ensure that peacekeeping operations in both contexts have the best chance to halt violence, protect civilians, and stabilize" South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
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Uneasy calm as school resumes in South Sudan
(Maban, South Sudan) February 14, 2014 – As schools re-opened at the beginning of the month, an uneasy calm prevails in Maban, Upper Nile State of South Sudan. Staff from both local and international non-governmental organizations have started trickling back to the county, located in the northeastern part of Upper Nile State in South Sudan.
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Detention Chaplaincy Humane Immigration Reform The Refugee Voice Spotlight on the Issues Voices Get Involved Recommended Reading Support Our Work Way of the Cross



Annual Report 2013




Outreach program shares JRS mission




Dialogue is the Solution in Syria




Servir No. 56




Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico




Refugee camp simulation raises awareness