June 20, 2020


What is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day is a day to raise awareness about the plight of refugees and displaced persons throughout the world. This year it takes place on Saturday, June 20th.


What is a refugee?

Under U.S. law, a refugee is a person who is forced to flee his or her home country due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of nationality, race, religion, political beliefs, and/or membership in a particular social group. Refugees do not voluntarily migrate but instead are forced to do so out of immediate necessity – often in the context of civil unrest, armed conflict, human rights violations, or other violence motivated by one of the five factors listed above and carried out by a state actor, an individual colluding with the state, or an individual whom the state cannot or will not control. [1]

There are two humanitarian protection systems for refugees, asylum, and refugee resettlement.[2]


Around the world, at least 70.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. In addition, there are 3.5 million asylum seekers worldwide.3

How does Catholic Charities help refugees in San Diego?

Since the 1974, Catholic Charities has welcomed thousands of refugees in San Diego from various countries throughout the world including Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Democratic Republic Congo, among others.


[1] USCCB Justice for Immigrants. 2020. Background Information. [online] Available at:  

[2] USCCB Justice for Immigrants. 2020. Differences Between Refugees and Asylees. [online] Available at:

[3] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 2020. Figures at Glance. [online] Available at:


Through its Resettlement, Employment, Acculturation, Case Management, and Health programs, Catholic Charities has helped refugees start a new life in San Diego and, thus, contribute to enriching the local culture and history of our County.

Although the cap for refugee arrivals, also known as the “ceiling[1], has greatly decreased in recent years as a result of changing federal policies, Catholic Charities continues to serve a growing population of asylum seekers and asylees[2] arriving primarily from Haiti, Cameroon, and Central America, all of whom strongly rely on us to meet their basic needs and thrive in their new home.

For decades, Catholic Charities has been blessed to receive generous support from local Churches, schools, businesses, and individuals to welcome refugees and asylees to San Diego County. To meet the current and future challenges ahead, in particular with the current COVID-19 outbreak, please consider donating to our giving opportunities featured below from now until June 20th, 2020, in commemoration of World Refugee Day.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support! 



[1] Bruno, A., 2020. FY2020 Refugee Ceiling And Allocations. [online] Available at:  

[2] USCCB Justice for Immigrants. 2020. An Overview Of Asylum. [online] Available at:




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Please fill-in the form below and then click “Donate” at the bottom of the page.

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More Information

Mail Donations to:

Catholic Charities
PO Box 121831, San Diego, CA 92112-1831
619 323-2841

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