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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is a refugee?
A refugee is a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."  This definition comes from the Refugee Act of 1980 which takes its definition of refugee from the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol. 

Who is an asylee?
When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum – the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that his or her fear of persecution in his or her home country is well-founded.

How many refugees are resettled in the U.S.?
In recent years the annual admissions levels for refugees has been set at 76,000 persons.  Each year, after consultation with Congress, the U.S. Department of State, and refugee-related agencies, the President signs a Presidential Determination regarding the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S.  In 2014 69,987 refugees were resettled in the U.S.  The 2015 Presidential Determination allows for up to 70,000 refugees.  
How many refugees are resettled in Colorado?
Last year, 2287 refugees, asylees and secondaries were resettled in Colorado.  (Click here for additional data.) 

Where are refugees resettled in Colorado?
The majority of refugees are resettled in the Denver metro area.  Approximately 100 refugees are resettled in Colorado Springs and 150 refugees in Greeley each year.

Where do refugees come from?
Refugees are resettled from many different countries around the world.  Over the last few years the countries with the highest number of resettled refugees are from:  Burma; Iraq; Bhutan; and Somalia.   (Click here for additional data.) 

What is the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP)?
CRSP is a division of the Colorado Department of Human Services and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, under the authority of the Refugee Act of 1980. Its goal is to ensure effective resettlement of officially designated refugees and to promote refugee self sufficiency and integration.


Where does funding come from for refugee resettlement?
Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  You can go to ORR's website and view the states annual program overview. 

Who provides services to refugees?
CRSP works with many community partners, but primarily with three designated refugee resettlement agencies (often referred to as VOLAGS): African Community Center, Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services and Lutheran Family Services Refugee and Asylee Programs.  (Click on each item for a contractor and principal partner resources map and extended stakeholders and partnership list.) 


What services do refugees receive?
Services include, but are not limited to: ESL classes, job training and employment placement, cash assistance, legal services, and health care.   

Are refugees screened for security and health issues?
Refugees undergo a comprehensive screening for security and health issues.  They are perhaps the most heavily screened group allowed to enter the U.S. from a foreign country. In fact, most refugees must wait months for final clearance to be admitted because of the rigorous process they must undergo to assure their identity and protect the citizens of the U.S. from any security risk.

Where can I go for more information on refugee resettlement?
Visit the Learn More section of our website for a list of links and community resources.  One of the best ways to learn about our refugee community is to participate in the many events or volunteer in the numerous programs.