What Unites Us Is Stronger Than What Divides Us

According to a new Global Trends report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), global forced displacement has reached a record high. The report notes that, on average, 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015.

These staggering statistics were released yesterday on World Refugee Day, a commemorative event created by the United Nations in 2000 that recognizes the resilience and strength of those whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by conflict.

World Refugee Day not only spreads awareness of the estimated 65 million refugees across the globe, but also praises the resilience of these ordinary people living through extraordinary times. It serves as a reminder that what unites us is stronger than what divides us.

Forced to leave their homes, refugees embark on a journey that challenges them to overcome much adversity. But, for those able to come to the United States, communities welcome these newcomers and celebrate their many contributions.

Many of our partners support refugees on their transitions to new lives, assisting them in the process of becoming U.S. citizens.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a New Americans Campaign partner, is one organization that resettles and supports refugees in various capacities. Through its Immigration and Citizenship Services, IRC offers low-cost immigration legal services and citizenship assistance, including civics classes and naturalization application help. For Amir Music and Biljana Debogovic, Campaign partners and IRC staff members in California, this assistance helped rebuild their lives and welcome their families in America.

The IRC recognized World Refugee Day yesterday through a citizenship ceremony in New York City, where 19 new Americans were sworn in as U.S. citizens. The group of mostly asylum seekers and refugees represented 12 different countries.

In Washington, DC, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum also sponsored a live streamed citizenship ceremony where 37 refugees and asylees from 16 countries became new U.S. citizens. Special ceremonies like these took place across the country yesterday.

You can join the UNHCR in honoring and supporting refugees all year through its #WithRefugees petition, which shares the personal stories of refugees and asylees and asks people everywhere to stand together to show that all refugees deserve to live in safety.

Posted on June 21, 2016

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More