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11.5 to 12 million undocumented immigrants
lived in the U.S.
• 2/3 of that population had been living in the
U.S for 10 years or less.
The majority of “new arrivals” are young, have
few years of schooling, and speak little English.
Most are employed in low paying jobs requiring
very little skill.
Almost two-thirds of the undocumented
population lives in just six states: California (26
%), Texas (12 %), Florida (10 %) New York (8
%), Illinois (4 %), and New Jersey (4 %)
• Myth: Undocumented immigrants come to the U.S. to get welfare
Most come exclusively to work
90% worked, a higher rate than U.S. citizens and legal immigrants!
Are ineligible for welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid
• Myth: Undocumented immigrants all crossed the Mexican border
60-75% of 10 million undocumented immigrants crossed the
Mexican border illegally and w/o inspection
25-40% entered legally and either overstayed visas or violated terms
of their admission
• Myth: Undocumented immigrants are all single men
40% of the adults are women
54% of men live “in married couples or other families”
Less than ½ are single and unattached
• Myth: Most children of the undocumented are
Fact: 2/3 of children with undocumented parents are U.S.
citizens who live in mixed-status families
• Myth: A large number of school children are
Fact: In 2000, 1.5% of elementary, and 3% of secondary
children were undocumented
• Myth: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes
Fact: Social Security Administration estimates that ¾ of
undocumented immigrants pay payroll taxes and
contribute $6-7 billion in Social Security that they will be
unable to claim.
Definition: Refugee, person who has fled or been
expelled from his or her country of origin because of
natural catastrophe, war or military occupation, or fear of
religious, racial, or political persecution.
Live in a place where people are persecuted because of their race, religion, ethnic
affiliation, social group, or political belief. Belong to one of these groups.
Flee your country when your life is threatened. Take only your immediate family members
and the clothes you are wearing.
Find your way to the relative safety of a neighboring country.
Apply to the UNHCR, United Nations High Commission for refugees, for protection.
If the UN recognizes your need for protection, you may be given a card and allowed to
live in a refugee camp. You may not even be safe there as these often isn’t security
within the camp. You probably aren’t allowed to work in the asylum country and are
therefore dependent on the UN and NGOs to provide food, medical care and education.
The US averages 40,000 to 50,000 refugees each year.
Texas became home to almost 4,000 last year.
Dallas gained over 1,200 refugees last year.
The top five groups originated from
Somalia, Cuba, Sudan, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Refugees have all the same rights as U.S.
citizens except that they are unable to vote or
hold public office. They must adhere to all the
same laws as U.S. citizens.
Refugees arrive with I-94 cards, this serves as
their proof of residency and their birth certificate.
1 year after arrival to the U.S. the refugee can
apply for a green card, usually with the
assistance of their resettlement agency.
5 years from their date of arrival refugee may
apply for citizenship. They must pass a written
and oral test.
All refugees entering the U.S. go through a
Resettlement agencies pick up the refugee
from the airport and arrange for their basic
needs to be met, housing, food, medical
Basic role of a resettlement agency is to
get the refugee client self sufficient within
90 to 180 days.
conditions such as
living with relatives
Refugees often have
to move from place to
Refugee Services in
Numerous languages, not all adequately represented
• Many services only translate three to five languages.
Daily tasks impeded
• Doctor visits
• Grocery store outings
• Needing bus information or being lost
• Helping children with school
Use of family/friends is the primary source of information
• The longest residence become the greatest source.
• Can lead to misinformation
Word of mouth is also utilized
• Oral cultures, need factual information within the communities
The majority of
refugee students have
never been in a formal
• Lacking basic skills
• Non-English speaking
• Reading, writing, math
• Attention span
• Parents are not used to
being involved in the
• Children often begin
before their parents
which can create stress
• Language barriers
keep parents from
Access to Healthcare
Hostility from host community
Distrust of Medical providers
Differing cultural Understanding of illness
and health care systems
Mental Health Issues
• Mental Health
problems comprise the
main health issue s
which refugees face
• Anxiety, depression, po
st traumatic stress
• Torture trauma
• Life events