Number Of Refugees Resettled In Idaho Has Declined By Half Since 2016

Jun 21, 2019

A new report from the International Rescue Committee, a global non-profit organization, finds that the number of refugees entering the country is at an "historic low."




This is also the case for states like Idaho, where the number of refugees resettled each month is about half of what it was in 2016, according to the International Rescue Committee. In the 2016 fiscal year, Idaho resettled an average of 67 refugees each month. So far this year, the average is 33 per month.


Zeze Rwasama, the director of the Refugee Center at the College of Southern Idaho, says the numbers outlined in the report do not surprise him. Just three years ago, Twin Falls settled around 300 refugees in the city each year. Last year, it was only 90. The organization is projected to resettle 140 refugees in Twin Falls by the end of the calendar year.

But Rwasama says the decrease in refugees admitted to Twin Falls is affecting people who are already living in the community.

"Reuniting families was happening faster before, and now it’s taking too long," he says.

All of the refugees resettled in Twin Falls this year have had a family member or friend living in the city already. So when it’s harder for people to come, it means families spend a longer time apart.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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