California

From the Gold Rush era to the present day, the Golden State has reaffirmed its commitment to compassion and inclusivity as a leader in welcoming forcibly displaced persons to the United States. The state's diverse population has often embraced refugees, offering cultural exchange opportunities and fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding. The Community Programs team in California is actively engaged with local nonprofit organizations, serving in the community, and developing opportunities for collecting and sharing refugee stories.

Demographics
ARRIVALS

FY 2016-2020 data source: Refugee Processing Center: Arrivals and Admissions. Figures exclude Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) from Afghanistan and Iraq.

FY 2021 data: 986 Refugee, 1,654 SIV. Figures do not include 2021 Afghan Humanitarian Parolee arrivals.

FY 2022 data: Figure excludes Afghans relocated after 2021 evacuation and Ukrainians who arrived under Humanitarian Parole after 2022 invasion.

TOP COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN
TOP NEWCOMER LANGUAGES
  • Persian
  • Arabic
  • Kurdish
  • Ukrainian
  • French

FY 2022 data source: Languages based on the official and/or most common language of arrivals’ country of origin.

Blog Posts
Learn more about our work and our team.

Call to Action

Voice Your Support for Afghan Adjustment

The Afghan Adjustment (AA) has been reintroduced in both the House (H.R.4627) and the Senate (S.2327) of the United States by a bipartisan group of legislators. We invite you to join us in honoring our promise to our Afghan allies by urging your representatives to pass the Afghan Adjustment!

December 6, 2023

Volunteer Perspective

What Supporting Refugees’ Mental Health Looks Like

I want to help newcomers because I see myself in them. A young Afghan woman I mentor, we’ll call her Sarah, reminds me of myself 6 years ago. She is the same age I was when I came to the U.S. She is by herself. Sometimes I get emotional thinking about Sarah managing to start a new life all by herself. Cooking for herself, taking care of herself, and doing it without family or community.

July 24, 2023

Call to Action

Uniting for Ukraine: U.S. Sponsors Needed

Just as citizens in Europe and the U.K. have heroically supported displaced Ukrainians by opening up their homes or securing other housing, assisting with school enrollments, employment needs, and language learning, Americans now have the opportunity via the Welcome.us Sponsor Circles program to directly help newly arrived Ukrainians. The United States has committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians temporarily for a period of two-years and the ability to apply for employment authorization in the U.S. as long as they have a U.S.-based sponsor to petition for them.

January 31, 2023
Events
Join us at an upcoming local or virtual event.

We're building our calendar of upcoming events. Check back soon or subscribe to our email list for updates.

Partners
Volunteer alongside our team with these local organizations.
Leadership
Get to know our California leadership team.
Rawah Al Atemsh
Community Programs Coordinator, Southern California
IMG 2553 David Carroll
Community Liaison
IMG 2556 1 Jean Carroll
Community Liaison
Contact Us
Reach out to our local team with any questions. We love to connect with people interested in welcoming newcomers to our community.
Add Impact to Your Inbox
Sign up for our emails to get inspiring stories and updates delivered straight to you.
© 2024 Their Story is Our Story Privacy Policy
Their Story is Our Story is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax-deductible. Our tax identification number is 812983626.