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.

JRS Expands Special Needs Education at Kakuma Refugee Camp Kenya

Jesuit Refugee Service recognized this deep-rooted problem in Kakuma and for the past 15 years has implemented educational programs for refugees including those with special needs. JRS tries to meet the challenges of people with special needs by giving them a space to be with others that have similar difficulties, creating their own community together.

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High Schools and Universities use “Walk A Mile in My Shoes” to teach students how refugees live

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Administration Budget Proposal Harmful to World’s Refugees

(Washington, D.C.) March 21, 2017 — The Trump Administration’s recently released FY18 budget proposal calls for drastic cuts in the funding of the Department of State and USAID. If adopted as written, this budget would have the gravest consequences for the well-being – even the survival – of millions of the world’s refugees.

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We Must Uphold the American Values of Opportunity and Welcome
Updated March 16, 2017.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is greatly disappointed by the Trump Administration's issuance of a revised Executive Order banning the entry of travelers from six Muslim majority countries into the United States for ninety days, suspending the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and slashing the number of planned refugee admissions by more than half. 
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Syria Marks 6 Years of Civil War as Refugee Crisis Reaches a Crossroads
At Jesuit Refugee Service, we heed the urgency of the United Nations and are responding to the needs of Syrian refugees. JRS staff and volunteers continue to provide emergency assistance, ongoing educational and psychosocial support in Syria, as well as Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Europe, all places that have opened their doors to Syrians fleeing war.
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JRS in Chad
On a January 2017 visit to Chad, JRS/USA Director of Advocacy & Operations, Giulia McPherson met with JRS staff and saw first-hand the impact JRS’ work is having on the refugee populations we serve.
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Former Ambassador David M. Robinson Named JRS/USA Executive Director
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is pleased to announce that David (Rob) M. Robinson has been appointed executive director. In more than 45 countries, JRS accompanies, serves and advocates for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
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Louisville – A City of Compassion for Refugees
This March, Louisville citizens have organized to share their compassion with refugees arriving in Athens, Greece, one of the 45 countries where the Jesuit Refugee Service works.
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JRS/USA & Jesuit Law Schools Express Deep Concern About Recent Executive Orders Targeting Immigrants & Refugees
On March 6, the President signed a new Executive Order which imposes entry restrictions for nationals of six Muslim majority countries; suspends refugee resettlement for 120 days; and drastically reduces the annual number of refugees the United States welcomes from 110,000 to 50,000, a historic low.
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Meet JRS Chad’s Country Director, Alberto Martin Huertas
2017 is a huge challenge for JRS Chad, we are expanding our activities in primary education to five more refugee camps in Farchana and Oure Cassoni. At the same time, this year is going to be our first experience implementing a Child Protection program. It is a big challenge, with a lot of work to do, but we are very passionate and it shows the confidence that our donors have in us.
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Recent stories
Muslims and Christians unite to call for bridges not walls
(Rome) February 7, 2017 — As we celebrate the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, the Italian Islamic Religious Community and Jesuit Refugee Service take President Trump's Executive Order on immigration and refugees as an affront to our common Muslim and Christian values, and a repudiation of our shared humanity.
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Catholic leaders condemn Executive Order on Refugees
(Washington, D.C.) February 1, 2017 — Yesterday the Board of Directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America released a statement urging President’s Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees and Migration to be withdrawn, as it is morally unjust and religiously dangerous. The order “conflicts starkly with the religious and ethical values held in the Roman Catholic tradition.”
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Anti-refugee Executive Order causes chaos and suffering
(Washington, D.C.) January 31, 2017 — In the few days that have passed since the issuance of an Executive Order suspending all refugee entry into the United States and blocking the entry of immigrant and non-immigrant visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries, the chaos that has reigned at U.S. airports has underlined the degree to which the Order was ill considered at its foundation and issued without adequate consultation or preparation by the responsible government agencies.
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TAKE ACTION to oppose harmful Executive Orders
(Washington, D.C.) January 30, 2017 — Last week, President Trump issued a series of Executive Orders which pose significant threats to immigrants and refugees both currently in the U.S. and those planning to arrive in our country seeking safety and security. The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA have issued statements denouncing these Executive Orders and we ask you to take action as well.
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Barring refugees is an affront to American values
(Washington, D.C.) January 27, 2017 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA expresses its deep opposition to provisions in today’s Executive Order suspending the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program for 120 days and indefinitely suspending the admission of refugees from war torn Syria. These actions fly in the face of Catholic and American values and do a disservice to our long history of welcoming the stranger.
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Jesuit Refugee Service, Interfaith Coalition Oppose Plans to Halt Refugee Resettlement
(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2017 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA strongly opposes the reported plans of the Trump administration to halt the resettlement of refugees to the United States, to reduce the number of refugees admitted annually, and to ban resettlement of certain nationalities. Please join us in sending a message to the President that you support our tradition of providing life-saving refuge to vulnerable displaced people, in accordance with our cherished American values.
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READ Act helps ensure global access to quality education
(Washington, D.C.) January 25, 2017 — As the world watches a new Congress and Administration assume power in the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives took an important step forward in prioritizing global access to education. The READ Act would ensure the U.S. has a comprehensive strategy to improve global educational opportunities for vulnerable children.
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An Open Letter to President Trump
(Washington, D.C.) January 20, 2017 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Interim Executive Director Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan S.J. notes that welcoming refugees and migrants “reflects our desire to respond to the call of the Jewish and Christian scriptures to welcome strangers among us, especially those in danger or great need.”
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Young refugees represent hope for a peaceful future
(Rome) January 17, 2017 - On the occasion of the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees Sunday, many refugees, volunteers and friends of Jesuit Refugee Service Italy — Centro Astalli — met Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa, newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
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Sri Lanka refugees seek acceptance in Thailand
(Rome) January 11, 2017 — As they await UN processing for resettlement the family lives in a small room close to both a commercial and a military airport. "Every time there is a fighter jet flying over our head, my son runs away from the playground and hides in the flat."
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Publications Lampedusa Concert Series Way of the Cross

Walk a Mile in My Shoes: How to Host a Refugee Experience

2015 Annual Report