Key Information & Resources for Assisting Newcomers

Refugees in the US: Background and Statistics

Refugee Processing and Security Screening:  This web page provides information about the security screening and background checks required by the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) as well as the refugee resettlement process.  It includes a short, animated video on the screening process.

WRAPS (Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System) tracks the movement of refugees from various countries to the U.S. for resettlement.  (Click on “Reports” for arrivals by sending country and receiving U.S. state)

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR),U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: provides people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society. Site includes eligibility, services, statistics, integration and other resources.

American Immigration Council: a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington D.C. with legal, education, policy and exchange programs. (has resource page on “Unaccompanied Children”.

Migration Policy Institute: an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide.

Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees (MORA): provides support to federally-recognized refugees and political asylees to ease their integration into American society.

Montgomery County Services for Newcomers: A Sampling

For a comprehensive database of public and private agencies that provide health, education and human resources services in Montgomery County, go to infoMONTGOMERY at

CASA/WE ARE CASA a nonprofit regional community-based organization that works in MD, VA, & PA based in Hyattsville, MD that works to organize, advocate for, and expand opportunities for Latino and immigrant people. Programs include: employment, language and computer training, health education, citizenship and legal services.

Community Ministries of Rockville: provides healthcare, emergency assistance, language outreach, elderly ministries and advocacy.

Family Services, Inc. (FSI): provides a wide array of programs and services including integrated and behavioral health, children, youth and families, victim and domestic violence and community support services.

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center: Montgomery County’s resource center that connects the county’s diverse communities with educational, economic and civic resources. Offers classes in English, computers and citizenship preparation. Four sites: Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Germantown and East County. Contact information: 240-777-4940 or

Interfaith Works: a nonprofit interfaith coalition that works to meet the needs of the poor and homeless by engaging Montgomery County’s faith communities in service, education and advocacy.

Manna Food Center: works to eliminate hunger through food distribution, food recovery, education and advocacy.

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County (MHA): promotes mental wellness and supports those with mental illness (children, teens, families and seniors) through education, advocacy and community service programs.

Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL): works to expand opportunities for high-quality English language and literacy instruction through programs in capacity building and public engagement.

Montgomery College Adult ESOL and Basic Skills for College and Careers Unit: provides classes on basic academic skills and GED® test preparation, English language, computer literacy and U.S. citizenship for college and entry-level employment.

Montgomery County Volunteer Center: connects individuals and groups to ongoing service opportunities and onetime projects in the community.

National Alliance on Mental Illness/Montgomery County (NAMI): helps through support, education, and advocacy.

World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE): provides counseling, case management and youth development to refugee and immigrant families.

Advocacy Resources

HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Headquarters: Silver Spring, MD rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are, helping them build new lives and advocating for their protection.

Interfaith Immigration Coalition: a national partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform.

Interfaith Action for Human Rights: a mid-Atlantic coalition of faith communities that seeks to change the culture, policy or practices that violate human dignity.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) stands with and advocates for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice. Click on “Act” for extensive advocacy resources.

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA),Headquarters: Washington, DC, a coalition of U.S. refugee organizations dedicated to refugee protection, welcome, and excellence In the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program, has an up-to-the-minute action agenda, policy updates and advocacy tools.

Also, see National Refugee Assistance Organizations’ websites below, most of whom have an “action” section.

National Refugee Assistance Organizations

These organizations work nationally to assist and resettle refugees, asylees and Central American children fleeing violence. Their websites contain a extensive information and resources on immigration issues, resettlement programs and advocacy.

Bridging Refugee Youth & Children Services Headquarters: Washington, DC

Church World Service (CWS) Headquarters: Elkart, IN,

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), Headquarters: New York, NY

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Headquarters: Silver Spring, MD

International Organization for Migration, Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), Headquarters: Washington, DC

US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI),
Headquarters: Arlington, VA

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Headquarters: Washington, DC

World Relief Corporation (WR), Headquarters: Baltimore, IN

Immigrant Integration and Welcoming Organizations

National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA):  a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership that represents the collective power and resources of the country’s 37 largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 31 states. 

National Immigration Forum:  convenes a broad constituency from across the country in constructive conversation and dedicated work to advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation  The forum distributes a weekly advocacy email.

Welcoming America