American Resettlement Agencies and Their Effectiveness in Helping Middle Eastern Immigrants and Refugees Navigate Social and Financial Challenges
By Hirsh Chitkara, Yilin Gao, Elizabeth Garcia, Emma Jabour, Eman Jacksi, Amol Jindal, Tadahiro Minami, Lekha Pathapati, Brenna Potter
Over the course of the semester our Collaborative Group (CG) has been working with the Jewish Family Services Resettlement organization. This organization is a non-profit social service agency aimed at serving the growing number of refugee families in the Ann-Arbor/Ypsilanti areas. Our work with this organization has prompted us to study global trends in refugee movement and the corresponding response by host nations.
As people transcend borders, governments are faced with an immediate pressure to accommodate an influx of individuals while trying to maintain control of the state and security within their borders. Aside from the government, refugee resettlement agencies play a crucial role in the lives of these immigrants. This paper looks at the roles of these agencies in the United States and their efforts to help refugees face social challenges like cultural assimilation and racism. We also examine how these organizations help immigrants overcome financial barriers in their new host country. This paper will consider the efforts of resettlement agencies in the process of assimilation and will provide examples of successes and failures that will help answer the question of how successful resettlement agencies in the U.S. are in integrating Middle Eastern Refugees in the realms of cultural assimilation, economics, and racism. By examining efforts to resettle Middle Eastern refugees in the United States, we see that success is small and varies greatly from organization to organization. This is significant because by studying successful and unsuccessful organizations, we learn how to best address the needs of refugees and receiving communities.