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.





Sudan Bishop underlines the importance of education and hospitality to refugees during visit to South Sudan
(Maban, South Sudan) December 15, 2014 — In a visit to the conflict-affected region of South Sudan, Daniel Adwok — the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum-Sudan — underlined the importance of education and hospitality for refugees living in the border district of Maban.
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Pastoral accompaniment as a sign of God's presence
(Lobone, South Sudan) December 14, 2014 — While respecting the faith of all refugees, Jesuit Refugee Service offers pastoral services for Catholic refugees in response to need, distinctly from other services. Jesuit Fr. Richard O’Dwyer says that for many refugees, the presence of a priest is a symbol and a practical sign of God's presence.
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Mexico: presence and listening count
(Mexico City) December 10, 2014 — Our work in Jesuit Refugee Service demands that we bring professional skills, knowledge and competence to our service with refugees. In addition to technical know-how and solid management skills, however, JRS needs team members who know what it means to accompany others and who put this understanding into action.
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Nairobi: friends in the Lord
(Nairobi) December 7, 2014 — Atsu Andre Agbogan reflects concretely on his own experience with Jesuit Refugee Service teams in the field and highlights the importance of accompaniment within JRS teams. He challenges all in JRS — team members and leaders alike — to understand accompaniment as a process of working together as a team in order to achieve the JRS mission.
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Syria cries for peace
(Beirut) December 2, 2014 — On the day the United States announced they would conduct air strikes against militants in Iraq, a Syrian woman here asked a Jesuit Refugee Service staff member a seemingly simple question: “Do you think a Syrian life has less value than anyone else’s?”
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Praying with refugees: reborn through generosity
London, 1 December 2014 – Just before Christmas a couple of years ago, I visited a project in East London that supports young unaccompanied migrants. The young people I met that day had been through a great deal. Some had made seemingly impossible journeys, alone, by sea, air and road. Many had lost touch with their families. Some had experienced homelessness and violence, at home, on route and in the UK. Others had been detained and arrested.
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Jesuit leader encourages 'hospitality on the frontiers'
(Rome) November 27, 2014 — To mark the 34th anniversary of Jesuit Refugee Service, last week Fr Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, discussed Hospitality on the Frontiers. In his conversation with the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Frederico Lombardi, Fr Nicolás encouraged governments and citizens to open their doors to refugees, recognizing service to refugees as "Gospel hospitality in action."
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Australia closes door in the face of humanitarian crisis
(Rome, Yogyakarta) November 26, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service observes with deep sadness yet another sudden retroactive change in Australian government policy towards people seeking international protection in southeast Asia. Australia has announced it will stop the resettlement of refugees who had registered with the UN refugee agency in Indonesia on or after July 1.
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Pope Francis visits European Parliament
(Brussels) November 25, 2014 —As Pope Francis addresses the European Parliament today, Jesuit Refugee Service urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
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Legacy of Jesuit martyrs & companions inspires students
(Washington, D.C.) November 25, 2014 — More than 1,600 attendees were inspired by the legacy of the Jesuit martyrs and their companions at the 17th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice recenty. The annual Catholic social justice conference is sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Attendees represented more than 95 Catholic institutions in 25 states, Canada, El Salvador, and Mexico. 
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Recent stories
U.S. Jesuits join Catholic bishops in welcoming President Obama's immigration relief plan
(Washington, D.C.) November 24, 2014 — The Jesuits of the United States, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the Kino Border Initiative welcome President Obama’s announcement of temporary relief from deportation for as many as five million of our community members. We also acknowledge that millions more families will continue to suffer under the constant specter of family separation caused by our broken immigration system, which can only be permanently resolved through positive, humane and practical legislation.
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High school outreach raises awareness of refugee issues
(Washington, D.C.) November 24, 2014 — Earlier this month, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Outreach Coordinator Mary Doan visited high schools in the New York metropolitan area. The visits were part of an annual effort to bring awareness of refugee and displacement issues to students across the country, while also encouraging students to take action on their campuses next spring.
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Dem. Rep. of Congo: Protect children from conflict
(Rome) November 21, 2014 – Twenty-five years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990, Child Soldiers International and Jesuit Refugee Service remain concerned by widespread abuses committed against children by armed forces and armed groups.
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Groups outraged over detention of children and families
(Washington, D.C.) November 20, 2014 — As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child today, the U.S. has embarked on the largest family detention program since Japanese Internment. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA joins others in expressing outrage over the detention of children on the International Detention Coalition’s Day of Action demanding an end to child detention.
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Marking 34 years of JRS, Jesuit Fr Superior Adolfo Nicolás to discuss refugee issues
(Rome) November 17, 2014 — Fr Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, will discuss the challenges of the reception of refugees with Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See.
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Young Catholic advocates to visit U.S. lawmakers
(Washington, D.C.) November 14, 2014 — On Monday, nearly 1,000 Catholics will visit with their respective lawmakers to urge Congress to pass humane comprehensive immigration reform, support human rights oriented policies in Central America, and respond to climate change and effects marginalizing the economically poor. The day culminates this weekend’s Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.
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JRS in Iraq as winter imperils displaced families
(Erbil, Iraq) November 11, 2014 – Jesuit Refugee Service has established a project in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kuridstan region, to provide assistance to recently displaced people. Unprecedented numbers of families and individuals have been forced from their homes across Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State has spread in recent months.
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Jesuits reflect on ‘the martyrs’ of El Salvador
(Washington, D.C.) November 10, 2014 — Twenty-five years after the massacre in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests, a housekeeper and her daughter, many are still waiting for justice in the case. None of the top military commanders who issued the orders to kill was ever prosecuted for the crimes. Writer William Bole shares the thoughts of Jesuits as they reflect on the meaning and the martyrdom.
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Report highlights Australia’s refugee policy flaws
(Kings Cross, Australia) November 7, 2014 — A report launched by non-government refugee experts and policy-makers at Canberra’s Parliament House in the Australian capital highlights the profound flaws within Australia’s punitive refugee policy, says Jesuit Refugee Service Australia.
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Jesuits killed in El Salvador to be commemorated during annual Ignatian Teach In for Justice
(University Heights, Ohio) November 4, 2014 — More than 1,300 people affiliated with Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and the larger Catholic Church will converge at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, November 15-17 in Washington, D.C. The 17th annual Teach-In will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the murders in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests and two laywomen on November 16, 1989.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. Multimedia stories of refugees The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross



Syria cries for peace




Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children




Smart responses to increased migration from Central America




Servir No. 57




Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico