Diplomacy’s Darling? Does Formal Government Resettlement Provide a Socioeconomic Advantage to Refugees Compared to Non-Refugee Status Immigrants?

Alicia J. Lee, University of Pennsylvania

This paper discusses the variation in socioeconomic status and resettlement experience between legally recognized refugees and non-refugee status immigrants in the United States. It uses the New Immigrant Survey to compare socioeconomic outcomes among immigrants who successfully applied for lawful permanent residency in 2003. Specifically, this paper explores resettlement location patterns and the relationships between the mode of reception, gender, household composition, employment, and income. Due to data limitations, few studies have been able to compare different immigrant groups by official visa category. The results of this investigation will help determine if there are significant differences in socioeconomic status and resettlement experience between these two immigrant populations and explore the relationship between these differences and the immigrants’ access to government support services.

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Presented in Session 181: 21st Century Refugee Policy and Refugee Demography