Refugees and Immigrants in our Community

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a refugee is anyone who is outside his or her home country and is unable or unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of prsecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Where do refugees come from?
Refugees come from all over the world from Sudan to Cuba and everywhere in between. Currently, refugees primarily from Bhutan & Burma are being welcomed to Lancaster.

What happens to refugees?
Less than one percent of all refugees are given the option to be resettled. There are three internationally accepted durable solutions for refugees:

  • Voluntary repatriation. Refugees return to their former country of nationality when conditions prevail that allow return in safety and dignity;
  • Local integration. Local settlement and integration of refugees in their country of first asylum upon receiving agreement from the host country;
  • Resettlement. Most frequently used for refugees whose life, liberty, safety, health or human rights are at risk in the country where they have sought refuge. Resettlement to a third country becomes the primary objective or priority when there is no other way to guarantee the legal or physical security of the refugee.


Read more about  Refugees' Steps to U.S. Resettlement

Have questions about Refugee Resettlement? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Click on one of the images below to learn more about the populations that are currently making Lancaster, Pa., their new home.


CWS is an equal opportunity employer / program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.