Refugee Resettlement Program Closes

pic_refugeeCatholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque is ending its 77-year-old Refugee and Resettlement ministry. Recent local and national changes have significantly decreased the number of people needing the organization’s assistance to legally establish roots in Eastern Iowa.  

The primary reason for the program’s closure is the US Department of State cutbacks which decrease the number of refugees who can legally seek refuge in the United States from 110,000 to 45,000 annually.  Additionally, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration recently announced that all refugee resettlement sites across the country will be required to resettle at least 100 refugees annually in order to stay open. These federal changes are occurring at a time when the needs of local refugees are also being met by others who provide reception and placement services. These circumstances mean that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque will not be able to meet the new minimal threshold required.

“Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque has been resettling refugees from all over the world in Eastern Iowa since 1940, primarily in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo,” stated Tracy Morrison, Executive Director.  “It’s a loss for our entire community.”

“Our faith guides us to believe in the dignity of all persons and the need to protect the most vulnerable, especially refugees and migrants. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the ending of this ministry,” said Archbishop Michael Jackels.

Catholic Charities remains committed to supporting refugees and immigrants through their Immigration Legal Services ministry available in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Hampton, Marshalltown, New Hampton, Postville and Waterloo.