Where refugees in Illinois are arriving from

Written by:
May 25, 2022
Dave Primov // Shutterstock

Where refugees in Illinois are arriving from

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday, May 9 that roughly 6,000 Ukrainian refugees were approved for temporary entry into the U.S. as part of a program designed to fast-track the admission of 100,000 people displaced by Russia’s war in Ukraine. While similar expedited processes have been used in the past, refugee admissions to the U.S. are typically lower and slower.

The U.S. passed the Refugee Act of 1980 to accommodate hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodians fleeing their homes in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The act pledges to respond to the urgent needs of people around the world who are subject to persecution or have a well-founded fear of persecution often on the basis of race, religion, nationality, social affiliation, or political opinion in their home countries.

Historically, the U.S. has resettled more refugees than any other country. However, despite a decade-long increase in the number of refugees around the world, America’s response to these urgent needs in recent years has been hindered by politics.

In 2021, just 11,411 refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Burma, were admitted to the U.S. under a ceiling of 62,500—the lowest number since the Refugee Act of 1980 was enacted.

Since 2017, refugee resettlement capacity in the U.S. has been reduced by 38%. The country’s resettlement rate dropped 86% in roughly that same period.

In addition to policies that have gutted government agencies responsible for resettlement and created processing roadblocks for applicants—it takes an average of two years to vet refugees for resettlement in the U.S.—fewer refugees in the last five years has resulted in less funding for the programs that still exist. More than 130 resettlement sites around the country have closed due to a lack of funding.

Stacker referenced data from The Refugee Processing Center to compile statistics on the number of refugees and their countries of origin resettled in Illinois in April 2022.

April refugee statistics
Countries where refugees arrived from in April
Illinois
#1. Burma: 28
#2. Syria: 23
#3. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 16
#4. Honduras: 6
#5. Ethiopia: 4
#6. Iraq: 4
#7. Sudan: 3
#8. Afghanistan: 2

National
#1. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 551
#2. Syria: 539
#3. Burma: 226
#4. Afghanistan: 151
#5. Ukraine: 105

States that accepted the most refugees in April
#1. California: 160
#2. Texas: 143
#3. Michigan: 129
#4. New York: 108
#5. Kentucky: 105

Read on to see the countries that Illinois has accepted the most refugees from since October

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Bernard Gagnon // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Syria

Refugees that arrived from Syria since October
Illinois: 88

National: 2,511
Top states
#1. California: 274
#2. Michigan: 263
#3. Pennsylvania: 182
#4. New York: 179
#5. Florida: 150

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Christopher Michel // Flickr

#2. Sudan

Refugees that arrived from Sudan since October
Illinois: 56

National: 1,170
Top states
#1. Texas: 100
#2. North Carolina: 91
#3. New York: 65
#4. Idaho: 57
#5. Illinois: 56

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Cheng Qian // Unsplash

#3. Burma

Refugees that arrived from Burma since October
Illinois: 51

National: 928
Top states
#1. New York: 133
#2. Wisconsin: 121
#3. Texas: 90
#4. Indiana: 59
#5. North Carolina: 58

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Issa Kashala // Shutterstock

#4. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Refugees that arrived from Democratic Republic of the Congo since October
Illinois: 51

National: 2,528
Top states
#1. Kentucky: 304
#2. Texas: 243
#3. Michigan: 152
#4. Arizona: 147
#5. Ohio: 128

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USACE HQ , JIM GORDAN, CIV, USACE // Wikicommons

#5. Iraq

Refugees that arrived from Iraq since October
Illinois: 16

National: 235
Top states
#1. California: 36
#2. Michigan: 36
#3. Pennsylvania: 19
#4. Texas: 17
#5. Ohio: 16

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Marek Poplawski // Shutterstock

#6. Honduras

Refugees that arrived from Honduras since October
Illinois: 9

National: 249
Top states
#1. Florida: 26
#2. Texas: 25
#3. Massachusetts: 24
#4. Virginia: 20
#5. North Carolina: 17

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Dave Primov // Shutterstock

#7. Eritrea

Refugees that arrived from Eritrea since October
Illinois: 8

National: 102
Top states
#1. Iowa: 14
#2. Minnesota: 10
#3. Arizona: 10
#4. Maryland: 9
#5. Ohio: 9

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Michal Knitl // Shutterstock

#8. Afghanistan

Refugees that arrived from Afghanistan since October
Illinois: 7

National: 313
Top states
#1. Colorado: 39
#2. California: 38
#3. Virginia: 36
#4. Washington: 26
#5. Texas: 25

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neiljs // Flickr

#9. Ethiopia

Refugees that arrived from Ethiopia since October
Illinois: 4

National: 53
Top states
#1. Minnesota: 15
#2. Maryland: 9
#3. Texas: 6
#4. Colorado: 5
#5. Washington: 5

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Kobby Dagan // Shutterstock

#10. Guatemala

Refugees that arrived from Guatemala since October
Illinois: 4

National: 489
Top states
#1. California: 106
#2. Texas: 60
#3. New Jersey: 49
#4. Georgia: 30
#5. Arizona: 23

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Ninara // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Iran

Refugees that arrived from Iran since October
Illinois: 4

National: 111
Top states
#1. California: 27
#2. Georgia: 16
#3. Virginia: 15
#4. Texas: 13
#5. Arizona: 5

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Serghei Starus // Shutterstock

#12. Moldova

Refugees that arrived from Moldova since October
Illinois: 3

National: 130
Top states
#1. California: 43
#2. Washington: 30
#3. Florida: 12
#4. North Carolina: 9
#5. South Carolina: 6

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Unsplash

#13. Ukraine

Refugees that arrived from Ukraine since October
Illinois: 3

National: 809
Top states
#1. Washington: 243
#2. California: 159
#3. Pennsylvania: 50
#4. Missouri: 42
#5. Ohio: 38

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Jontycrane // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Uganda

Refugees that arrived from Uganda since October
Illinois: 2

National: 53
Top states
#1. California: 7
#2. Tennessee: 7
#3. Georgia: 6
#4. Texas: 5
#5. Colorado: 4

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agchinook // Shutterstock

#15. Venezuela

Refugees that arrived from Venezuela since October
Illinois: 2

National: 19
Top states
#1. Nevada: 8
#2. Florida: 5
#3. Washington: 3
#4. Illinois: 2
#5. Georgia: 1

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