WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Church found homes for 30% of the refugees admitted to the United States during the last fiscal year.
The U.S. episcopal conference’s Migration and Refugee Services and its diocesan network resettled 17,823 of the 60,192 refugees admitted during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The refugees came from nations such as Burma, Iraq, Burundi, Somalia, Iran, Vietnam, Congo and Liberia.
The previous year, the Church achieved the resettlement of 28% of the 48,281 refugees given entrance into the States.
“The diocesan staff, parishes and other community entities involved […] once again went above and beyond the call of duty to help refugees build new lives,” said Johnny Young, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services.
The service expressed particular satisfaction with the success of the “Unaccompanied Minor” program this year: Ten dioceses found foster care placement for 190 unaccompanied children, plus 43 other children who have not yet arrived on U.S. soil. Only 50 children are expected in a typical year.
“Both of these situations provide a strong testament to the Church’s unwavering commitment to welcome the newcomer regardless of the circumstances that bring them to our land,” Young said.
The bishops continue to advocate for increasing the number of refugee admissions into the United States. Refugee arrivals here have been on an upward trend for several years, after being significantly reduced following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.