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.

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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Bishop celebrates Mass with detained men in Arizona
(Florence, Ariz.) Nov. 3, 2014 — Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson celebrated Mass with 105 men being held at the Florence Federal Detention Center last month. Accompanying the Bishop was Mike Gutierrez, coordinator of the Detention Ministry Program of Catholic Community Services in the Diocese of Tucson.
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Praying with refugees: education preserves life
(Abéché) November 1, 2014 – Food shortages in refugee camps sometimes force families to engage in otherwise unacceptable practices. Sixty percent reductions in food assistance last year for the 360,000 Sudanese refugee families in eastern Chad have not only put girls and women at risk, they have affected girls' education.
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South Sudan: aid workers return to a glimmer of hope
(Maban, South Sudan) October 30, 2014 — Two and a half months after violence forced an evacuation, Jesuit Refugee Service and other organizations have resumed most activities in Maban and life seems to be getting back to normal. "Most children in the refugee camps are back at school, the market is busy... Life goes on," said Fr Pau Vidal S.J., project director for JRS in Maban.
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Recent stories
Jordan: education enables sharing — of pain and success — among different refugee communities
(Amman) October 30, 2014 —A refugee from Syria now living in Jordan shares his story. "It was the summer of 2011; my schoolmates and I were ordinary students who were studying for exams and just looking forward to enjoying our summer vacation. It was about to be my last Syrian summer."
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Prayers for the Departed
(Washington, D.C.) October 29, 2014 — Halloween brings opportunities—and not only for retail business. While we see from our stores, our schools, and our neighbors’ lawns opportunities to contribute to the $6 billion U.S. retail business, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA presents another opportunity at this time of year—to offer prayers for our deceased family and friends.
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Governments urged to protect Syrian refugees and civilians
(Rome) October 28, 2014 – Foreign ministers from 20 countries and senior officials from 10 international organizations are meeting in Berlin today to discuss options for managing what risks becoming a protracted refugee crisis, with millions of displaced persons living in Syria and neighboring countries for years to come, even after an eventual end of the conflict.
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U.S. urged to offer 'compassionate and sustainable' response to humanitarian crisis in Central America
(Washington, D.C.) October 22, 2014 — The Jesuit Conference of the United States, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and more than 50 other organizations have written to Congressional leaders urging the United States to respond in a compassionate and sustainable manner to the humanitarian crisis forcing children and families to flee from their homes.
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Emergencies and new conflicts leave refugees hungry
(Rome) October 16, 2014 — "Food saves lives. It helps us be productive citizens, and is essential to the development of our children," said Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Peter Balleis S.J. highlighting World Food Day today. "That is why we urgently need ... to create more opportunities for the forcibly displaced to build sustainable livelihoods."
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Examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to the conflict in Syria
(Aleppo, Syria) October 15, 2014 — During the anti-apartheid years in South Africa, the phrase "strike a woman and you strike a rock" was popularized by the growing involvement of women in the struggle. In Syria, the role of women has taken on a less aggressive, but no less significant role.
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Colombia: heed the victims of conflict
(Bogota) October 14, 2014 — In response to ongoing peace talks in Colombia, Jesuit Refugee Service urges the negotiating parties to attend the needs of those affected by the conflict. JRS calls for assistance for victims, reparations, solutions to the displacement and preventative measures. JRS urges receiving states to welcome refugees and offer them protection, not forcibly return them to Colombia.
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Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
(Beirut) October 8, 2014 — The humanitarian crisis in two of the three principle cities in Syria has deteriorated dramatically in the last two months, according to Jesuit Refugee Service teams on the ground. "The situation in Damascus is very unpredictable at the moment, especially in the areas where we have our centers. We do our best to assist those in need, but it is a very precarious situation," said Nawras Sammour S.J., Regional Director of JRS Middle East and North Africa.
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Europe: Protection seekers stranded in Sicily
(Brussels) October 7, 2014 — Interviews conducted with migrants stranded in southern Italy expose the failure of European reception systems to uphold principles of human dignity, hospitality and fairness, according to the findings of a new report by Jesuit Refugee Service. "My bones hurt. I still have back pains from sleeping on the street. I slept on cardboard with no blanket or sheets," says Kofi, whose wife and two children drowned as they attempted to join him in Europe.
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Afghanistan: Hope remains alive for safe return of Jesuit Refugee Service director
(Delhi) October 4, 2014 — October 2 marked four long months since Alexis Prem Kumar was abducted by a group of armed men from a JRS-supported school in Sohadat. Committed to the children of Afghanistan, JRS has resumed all its formal and non-formal education programs.
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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

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