Thursday, November 11, 2010

At the last meeting of the Refugee and Immigrant Service Providers Network (RISPnet), Judy Scott, Director of Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, offered these statistics:

In Federal Fiscal Year 2010, Vermont resettled 304 refugees. In addition there were 17 asylees accepted, 24 in-migrants, and 22 people out-migrating to other states. The out-migrating refugees were mostly Burmese ethnic Chin, who joined their ethnic communities in other states.

Next FFY, Vermont expects to resettle 325 people. The main groups will be Bhutanese, Burmese, Africans and Iraqis. (There were no new Iraqis last year.)

Nationwide, the Department of Homeland Security has just released its statistics for refugee arrivals, population totals, etc. for this same time period.

Below are some excerpts from these articles, which can be found at the Department of Homeland Security Website at :

Office of Immigration Statistics POLICY DIRECTORATE

Annual Flow Report, April, 2010: Refugees and Asylees in 2009

The United States provides refuge to persons who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution through two programs: one for refugees (persons outside the U.S.) and one for asylees (persons in the U.S.). This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report provides information on the number of persons admitted to the United States as refugees or granted asylum in the United States in 2009. (This refers to the Fiscal Year: October 1 - September 30, 2009.)

A total of 74,602 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2009 (The leading countries of nationality for refugees were Iraq, Burma, and Bhutan. During 2009, 22,119 individuals were granted asylum, including 11,933 who were granted asylum affirmatively by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and 10,186 who were granted asylum defensively by an immigration judge during removal proceedings. The leading countries of nationality for persons granted asylum were China, Ethiopia, and Haiti.


To be eligible for refugee or asylum status, an applicant must meet the definition of a refugee set forth in 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. An applicant for refugee status is outside the United States, while an applicant seeking asylum status is in the United States or at a U.S. port of entry.

Another interesting report:

"Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2009"

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population living in the United States decreased to 10.8 million in January 2009 from 11.6 million in January 2008. Between 2000 and 2009, the unauthorized population grew by 27 percent. Of all unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2009, 63 percent entered before 2000, and 62 percent were from Mexico.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Vermont Humanities Council/Day of the Pelican Events

The following events will be offered in November at the Unitarian Universalist Society building, 152 Pearl Street (the top of Church St):

Book Discussions:Katherine Paterson's novel, The Day of the Pelican: Tuesday, November 9 at 7:00 pm and Tuesday, November 16 at 1:00 pm

Two documentary films by local director Mira Niagolova: "A Parallel World" and "Welcome to Vermont" Sunday, November 14 at 12:30 pm. These movies were shown at the New Neighbors Cross-Training Conference on October 12 at St. Michael's college. If you missed the screenings, here is another opportunity to see these two excellent films.

Resettlement Stories as told by former Bosnian Refugees: Sunday, November 14 at 7:00 pm