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.

Chad: education for refugee girls from Sudan, between obstacles and hope
(N’Djamena) September 11, 2014 — Walking long distances to fetch water in the blistering desert heat of eastern Chad is not to be underestimated. It is one of the most arduous of tasks facing Sudanese women living in refugee camps in eastern Chad, a place where socio-cultural traditions tend to limit their role strictly to the domestic sphere: household chores, caring for large families and fetching water.
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Contributing to the healing of the world
(Washington D.C.) September 9, 2014 – There is something both inspiring and heartrending in the struggles of refugees. Several years ago, on an advocacy visit to the programs of Jesuit Refugee Service Ecuador, I interviewed a Colombian refugee, a beautiful young woman who had suffered unspeakable crimes at the hands of paramilitaries and human traffickers.
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National Religious Leaders to President Obama: Don’t Trade Kids' Lives in Immigration Action
(Washington, D.C.) September 4, 2014 — Jesuit Fr Timothy Kesicki, President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States and a long-time board member of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, joined 39 other national religious leaders in delivery of a succinct, one-sentence message to President Barack Obama urging him not to compromise the lives of children fleeing violence in Central America as the Administration considers its next steps on immigration.
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In Memoriam: Fr. Michael A. Evans S.J.
(Washington, D.C.) September 3, 2014 — Former Jesuit Refugee Service/USA National Director Fr. Michael Evans S.J. passed away Monday. Fr. Evans was regional director of Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa in Nairobi from 1991 to 1996, and was the national director of JRS/USA from 2010 to 2012.
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Serving refugees in the Horn of Africa
(Washington, D.C.) September 2, 2014 — The UN Refugee Agency noted that during 2013 the “population of concern” in Ethiopia rose from about 379,000 to 436,000. Most of these refugees arrived at Dollo Ado, a dry and dusty region in the desert southeast near the border with Somalia and Kenya.
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Praying with Refugees in North Kivu
(Masisi, Democratic Republic of the Congo) September 1, 2014 — How can we challenge ourselves to pray in a way that gives room to the refugees and displaced persons in our communities? There is a call for change to welcome the displaced in our world. What are my personal commitments towards that? How can I, as a member of a host community, express solidarity for and show hospitality to others?
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World Day of Migrants and Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) August 31, 2014 — The Catholic Church in Latin America celebrates the 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees next Sunday, and Pope Francis released a message noting the hopes of and difficulties faced by people on the move in our global society. “Solidarity, acceptance, and signs of fraternity and understanding exist side by side with rejection, discrimination, trafficking and exploitation, suffering and death.”
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Ethiopia now home to largest number of refugees in Africa
(Washington, D.C.) August 25, 2014 — The UN refugee agency reported last week that Ethiopia is now the largest host country of refugees in Africa, surpassing Kenya. At the end of July, Ethiopia was home to more than 629,000 refugees, while neighboring Kenya hosts more than 575,000.
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South Sudan: innocence suffers in conflict
(Maban, South Sudan) August 13, 2014 — Alvar and I, the two new Jesuit members of the Jesuit Refugee Service team here, arrived in Maban (Upper Nile state) almost a month ago. More than 127,000 refugees from Sudan came here in late 2011 — early 2012, and are living in four very large camps in a precarious situation.
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JRS Australia urges regional response to forced migration
(Kings Cross, Australia) August 12, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service says the need for cross-border and regional collaboration on refugees has never been greater, and Australia has the potential to play a leading role in the development of a regional response to forced migration in the Asia-Pacific region.
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Recent stories
Dem. Republic of Congo: out of sight, out of mind
(Masisi) August 10, 2014 – In this poignant essay, Inés Oleaga shows how accompanying forcibly displaced people can be a very practical way of protecting them and of showing them that they have not been forgotten by all, despite evidence to the contrary.
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Spotlight on famine crisis in South Sudan
(Washington, D.C.) August 6, 2014 — Whether the severe humanitarian food crisis in South Sudan is a "phase four humanitarian emergency" or a "phase five famine" does not matter much to the 1.6 million South Sudanese who have been displaced by the political and ethnic firestorm that has torn the world's newest country apart since last December.
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Jesuit recommendations for smart responses to increased migration from Central America
(Washington, D.C.) July 16, 2014 — The relatively sudden increase in the number of people migrating from Central America to the United States is the Hemisphere's most recent migration phenomenon. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is particularly concerned about three groups: unaccompanied children traveling without a parent or legal guardian, asylum-seekers, and women traveling with very young children.
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Praying with Refugees in Afghanistan: even after the darkest night there will be a new day
(Rome) August 1, 2014 — Two months have passed since Fr Alexis Prem Kumar S.J., the Jesuit Refugee Service Afghanistan director, was abducted by a group of armed men from a JRS-sponsored school in Sohadat, a government township for returnee families, 35 kilometers from Herat city in western Afghanistan.
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Society of Jesus urges Jesuit alumni in Congress to protect children at the border
(Washington, D.C.) July 30, 2014 — The Society of Jesus in the United States made a personal plea to the 43 Congressional representatives who graduated from U.S. Jesuit high schools and colleges to "uphold the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of human life" when considering policy solutions to address children fleeing from violence in Central America to the United States.
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Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich to Become International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service in 2015
(Washington, D.C.) July 29, 2014 — As president of the Jesuit Conference of the U.S. for the last eight years, Fr. Tom Smolich has traveled to the far corners of the world as the U.S. Jesuits’ liaison to the global Society of Jesus. With his new assignment as the next international director of Jesuit Refugee Service, Fr. Smolich will need to free up pages in his passport.
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Faith Groups Urge President and Congress to Protect Unaccompanied Children
(Washington, D.C.) July 24, 2014— Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and more than 300 faith-based organizations delivered a letter to President Barack Obama and Members of Congress today urging protection, care and legal counsel for the thousands of Central American children who are fleeing violence, conflict and exploitation.
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Congress must address humanitarian crisis at the border
(Washington, D.C.) July 23, 1014 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA today joined leading human rights, development, and faith-based organizations in an open letter to Members of Congress calling on legislators to address the humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands of children from Central America who have been apprehended and detained at the U.S. border. 
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Jesuit reflections from the southern border
(El Paso) July 22, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Fr Peter Balleis S.J. visited the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Detention Chaplaincy Program in the border city of El Paso, and shares a reflection of his experience with the staff and the undocumented migrants and asylum seekers held in detention at the El Paso Service Processing Facility.
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Central American migration: areas of concern
(Washington, D.C.) July 20, 2014 — The U.S. government must hold on to humanitarian principles of protection and compassion because the implications of its decisions are global. The U.S. cannot continue asking countries like Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon to keep their borders open in the face of large numbers of people seeking protection from violence in Syria if it is unwilling to compassionately review the asylum and protection claims of desperate people who arrive at its own border.
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Detention Chaplaincy program Migration & Asylum in the U.S. The Refugee Voice newsletter Spotlight on the Issues Refugee & Staff Reflections Recommended Reading What We Do Way of the Cross

Serving refugees in the Horn of Africa

Advocating for the Rights of Unaccompanied Children

Smart responses to increased migration from Central America

Servir No. 57

Annual Report 2013

Persistent Insecurity: Abuses Against Central Americans in Mexico

Refugee camp simulation raises awareness