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.





#Do1Thing - One Parish, Six Actions

The Jesuit Parish, St. Ignatius, in Baltimore Maryland has done more than just one thing for refugees and migrants. Learn about the six ways in which they took action to welcome refugees and migrants. 


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#Do1Thing - Little, Local Actions With A Big Impact

Fairfield, Connecticut, 12 January 2019 - A student from a Jesuit University reflects on her experience coordinating a mentoring program for refugees and how little actions can have a big impact. 


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Everyone Can #Do1Thing to Respond to Refugees and Migrants
Washington, DC, 11 January, 2018 - January 14 is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees – a day when the Catholic Church, called by Pope Francis’s leadership, comes together in recognition and support of refugees and migrants. We hear the words "refugee crisis" all the time, and the sheer magnitude of the urgent situation can leave us feeling powerless and frustrated. But there are ordinary things you can participate in to make an impact.


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Last Day to Submit Entry for “Lessons from Anne” Essay Competition

Washington, D.C., 11 January 2018 — The time has come for all submissions for the JRS/USA “Lessons from Anne Frank” Essay Competition to be submitted. Applicants must enter their essays here by 5:00 P.M. ET on Monday, January 15, 2018.


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Canada: Creating Communities for Canadians and Newcomers
Montréal, 10 January 2018 – Following the call in 1980 of Pedro Arrupe SJ, then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, to assist the Vietnamese boat people, the Jesuits of French Canada started to sponsor refugees. Canada had instituted the private sponsorship of refugees in 1979. Since then, the Jesuits’ sponsorship program has supported thousands of forcibly displaced people from many parts of the world.
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JRS/USA Celebrates National Migration Week 2018
Washington, D.C., 8 January 2018 — For almost 50 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is being celebrated this year from January 7th through the 14th. This week is an opportunity to reflect on the harsh circumstances faced by all migrants, such as immigrants, refugees, unaccompanied minors and children, and victims of human trafficking. It is a reminder to all of us the duty required of Christians to take responsibility to our brothers and sisters who, for a variety of reasons, have been forced to flee their homes.
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Global: Year-end letter from JRS International Director
Rome, 27 December 2017 – The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members. Mahatma Gandhi would not give our society high marks for its treatment of forcibly displaced people this year. But in the midst of xenophobia and closing borders, there is hope.
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Refugee Families Finding Hope This Holiday Season
Washington, D.C., 21 December 2017 — Raja’s smile was infectious as soon as we entered the room. Her daughter Raha sat on her lap and they were both eager to talk. They live in Bourj Hammoud, a densely populated neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon, and take part in programs at the Jesuit Refugee Service Social Center. Opened in 2014, the JRS Social Center in Bourj Hammoud serves 700 individuals every year by providing support groups, basic literacy courses, and vocational training in areas including hairdressing and sewing.
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JRS/USA Celebrates International Human Solidarity Day
Washington, D.C., 20 December 2017 — The spirit of solidarity has continuously helped define the work of JRS, as we uphold our obligation to our brothers and sisters who have been forced to flee their homes.
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Canada: U.S. Policies Pushing Asylum Seekers North
Montréal, 11 December 2017 - JRS/USA's Director of Communications, Sarah Carroll, visited the the U.S.-Canada border and discovered that asylum seekers are crossing the border from the U.S. to seek opportunity and a better life. She reflects on what JRS Canada is doing to respond and how policy in the U.S. is not welcoming these asylum seekers, but pushing them to Canada.


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Recent stories
JRS/USA Responds to U.S. Retreat from Global Compact on Migration

Washington, D.C., 3 December 2017 - On Saturday, December 2, 2017, the Trump Administration announced it would no longer participate in the Global Compact on Migration – a critical process for safe, orderly, and regular migration around the world. JRS/USA is saddened and disppointed at this announcement and encourages the Administration to consider Pope Francis's call for cooperation. 


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The presence of God today is also called Rohingya

Washington, D.C., 1 December 2017 – Pope Francis brought attention to a worsening refugee crisis while traveling in Bangladesh this week. More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled across the border from Rakhine State in Myanmar since August, adding to an already overburdened relief effort. Many of the new arrivals are children without parents, left to survive alone the traumas they have witnessed. 


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On Giving Tuesday - Give Education
Washington, D.C., 26 November 2017 - Today is Giving Tuesday - a day of global giving fueled by you, our supporters! On this special day, we invite you to give the gift of education. Shop the JRS/USA Global Education Initiative Gift Catalog. 
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JRS Refugee Simulation Provides Eye-Opening Experience for Students

Washington, D.C., 21 November 2017 — While it is impossible to fully comprehend what it is like to be forced from your home and live as a refugee, students from schools around the country, including Loyola Academy, Misericordia University, Fairfield University, and Georgetown University are hosting JRS/USA’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” refugee simulations.


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Show Your Solidarity
Washington, D.C., 20 November 2017 — Pope Francis continues to remind us of our obligation to our brothers and sisters who have been forced to flee their homes, and asks us to be in solidarity with them.
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JRS Celebrates Its 37th Anniversary
Washington, D.C., 14 November 2017 — For almost 40 years, JRS has responded to Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ's call to do more and greater - or the Magis - for refugees. As celebrate this anniversary, we want to thank our many friends and supporters who have helped us to do this by accompanying, serving, and advocating for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. 
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JRS Advocates, So Can You

Washington, D.C., 3 November 2017—JRS/USA advocates for the rights of refugees and migrants around the world, and we invite you to participate in our advocacy efforts by letting your leaders know that you also support refugees. 


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Integrating Urban Refugees in Ethiopia
Washington, D.C., 2 November 2017— The traditional image of refugees crammed under large tents or a makeshift structure no longer gives the full indication of today’s refugee crisis. The extremely poor living conditions of camps and dependency on humanitarian aid frustrates most refugees. This causes many to assume that this forces them to seek better lives in urban environments - this is not true. Urban refugees often have greater needs than camp-based refugees, as they do not have the services provided in the camp. They must pay for shelter, education, health care, and food. They are often not legally allowed to work and do not speak the language, which makes it difficult to survive.
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Bangladesh: Responding to the plight of the Rohingya
(Dhaka) October 30, 2017 – The JRS Deputy International Director, Fr Joseph Xavier SJ, is currently evaluating opportunities to support Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, where over 500,000 people have fled violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar since August 2017.
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Greece: Asylum seekers in abysmal conditions on islands
(Athens) October 27, 2017 – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should end the Greek government’s “containment policy” of confining asylum seekers to the Aegean islands, 19 human rights and humanitarian aid organisations said in an open letter released 23 October.
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Walk a Mile in My Shoes: How to Host a Refugee Experience