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.

In Profile: Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan S.J.
(Washington, D.C.) February 8, 2016 – Jesuit Refugee Service/USA’s Director of Mission is Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. Fr. Leo served as president of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. from 1989 to 2001. He continues to be active as a Jesuit priest and theologian, and will help share the mission of Jesuit Refugee Service nationally and globally.
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Europe: protect refugees, a collective responsibility
(Rome) February 5, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service is seriously concerned by the disjointed reaction and arbitrary and deleterious security measures EU Member States have adopted as a response to the numbers of people fleeing to Europe these last few weeks. Refoulement and the closing of borders are among the most serious violations of treaties and conventions signed by the EU and Member States.
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Education in emergencies & protracted crises
(Washington, D.C.) February 4, 2016 — The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies — of which Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a member — is leading a global consultation to facilitate dialogue and collect inputs to strengthen the response to education in emergencies and protracted crises. JRS operates education programs in 36 countries, and considers education a life-saving intervention.
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Iraq: a tale of two women
(Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq) February 3, 2016 – In the events hall of the Jesuit Refugee Service Community Center in Ozal two women sit and smile while they listen to the psychologist giving a lecture for JRS's awareness sessions on how to manage stress. These sessions are offered to about 40 women living in Ozal.
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World leaders in London must deliver transformational new deal for Syrian refugees and host countries
(London) February 3, 2016 -- World leaders in London this week for a high-level conference on Syria must commit to an ambitious and transformational new multi-billion dollar deal for Syrian refugees and the countries hosting them in the region, a global coalition of more than ninety humanitarian and human rights groups said.
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JRS Greece: hard conditions for asylum seekers in Athens
(Athens, Greece) February 1, 2016 – Despite the winter cold and rough seas people continue to take great risks to reach Greece from Turkey. JRS is present on the Greek island of Lesbos and in Athens welcoming and accompanying new arrivals, with many asylum seekers sent by Greek authorities to detention centers.
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Keep places of worship free of raids
(Washington, D.C.) January 29, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA has joined more than 90 faith-based organizations and faith leaders in calling on President Obama to immediately halt Department of Home Security raids aimed at rounding up Central American asylum-seeking families and deporting them back to the danger they have been seeking to escape.
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Myanmar: Is it safe for refugees to return after elections
(Mae Hong Son, Thailand) January 28, 2016 –  Myanmar in November held its first national vote since a nominally civilian government was established in 2011, ending almost 50 years of military rule. There has been much optimism for national reconciliation, including a repatriation of Burmese refugees who fled decades ago.
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South Sudan: from Lost Boys to leaders
(Juba, South Sudan) January 26, 2016 – In the late 1980s and early 1990s, more than 20,000 boys and girls who fled Sudan's second civil war lost their families along the way. For years the international community has called them the "Lost Boys," but today they are no longer boys nor are they lost.
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Temporary Protected Status urged for Central Americans
(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA joined 272 other organizations asking the U.S. to designate El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras for Temporary Protected Status. These three countries warrant TPS designation in light of the dramatically escalating violence that has precipitated a humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing the Northern Triangle countries.
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Recent stories
Cambodia: Montagnard refugees' cases are finally heard
(Phnom Penh) January 22, 2016 — In this historic period where the world is seeing millions of forcibly displaced people on the move, and countries breaching their obligations under international law to protect them, the Jesuit Refugee Service is glad to see that a group of ethnic Vietnamese Montagnard refugees will have access to a fair asylum process in Cambodia. 
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Lebanon: JRS offers hope through education
(Beirut) January 20, 2016 – Gharam, a 14-year-old girl who fled to Lebanon from Syria with her family to escape her country’s civil war, longs to return home. But in the meantime, a Jesuit Refugee Service school she attends in her host country – which has welcomed about 1.5 million Syrian refugees since war erupted in the Syria in 2011 – has been a welcomed oasis in an otherwise turbulent world.
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Take Action: Urge Your Senators to Oppose H.R. 4038
UPDATE: Thanks everyone for your support in helping defeat H.R. 4038! (Washington, D.C.) January 19, 2016 — The Senate is poised to vote TOMORROW (Wednesday, January 20) on the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act – H.R. 4038 – which would halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the U.S. JRS/USA is urging the Senate to defeat the bill. 
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Accompaniment and Love put Mercy in Motion
(Washington, D.C.) January 17, 2016 — The message of Pope Francis for today’s World Day of Refugees and Migrants is “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy.” Jesuit Refugee Service is drawing on what we’ve learned in the last 35 years of walking with refugees to put Mercy in Motion
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JRS expands services for refugees in Thailand
(Washington, D.C.) January 13, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service in Bangkok had a busy 2015, ending a 12-month program that served almost 640 extremely vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers with projects dedicated to improve access to primary healthcare, medical services, mental health and psychosocial support.
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Uganda: gazes from Kampala
(Kampala, Uganda) January 11, 2016 – For more than one year, I have worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Kampala, Uganda. I have observed multiple realities faced by refugees and tried to comprehend the many gazes of those I work with. Sometimes those gazes are sweet and kind, other times bitter and inquiring.
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Common action needed, not unilateral border controls
(Brussels) January 7, 2016 – Jesuit Refugee Service Europe is concerned that Sweden has reinstated identity checks at its border with Denmark. Although many countries in Europe are dealing with high numbers of new arrivals from war-torn countries, unilaterally setting up border controls can only exacerbate migration problems and hinder the development and implementation of international solutions.
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JRS urges protection for asylum seekers, not deportation
(Washington, D.C) January 4, 2016 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA joined the American Immigration Lawyers Association and more than 150 other organizations in a letter to President Obama opposing DHS plans to deport Central American children and their parents. The letter urges the President to offer greater protection to Central American families fleeing violence.
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Lebanon: Syrian children need more than a traditional education
(Jbeil, Lebanon) December 17, 2015 – Some 2.8 million Syrian children are out of school as a result of their country’s civil war – 550,000 of whom are in Lebanon. While war cannot be undone, its after effects can be ameliorated through education and support. The JRS center in Jbeil serves almost 500 Syrian refugee children, including providing psychosocial support through Peace Education classes.
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Detention adds to trauma of families seeking asylum
(Washington, D.C.) December 16, 2015 — In October 2015, the University of San Francisco School of Law, Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic, spent a week volunteering with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project at the South Texas Family “Residential” Center in Dilley, Texas. A student volunteer reflects on the experience in this essay.
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