World Refugee Day 2015


WHEREAS, refugees are men, women and children from all parts of the world who are forced to flee their homelands because of wars, human rights crises, and fear of persecution or death due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group; and

WHEREAS, since 1980, the U.S. Refugee Act has represented the United States government’s commitment to protecting refugees through resettlement and asylum programs; and

WHEREAS, since 2000, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has recognized June 20th as World Refugee Day to honor the sacrifices and contributions of refugees throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, more than 2,300 refugees and asylees from 49 countries made their home in the Commonwealth in 2013 — joining more than 3 million refugees who have been resettled in the U.S. since 1975, many of whom are now U.S. citizens and thriving members of Virginia’s communities; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Health’s Refugee and Immigrant Health Program identifies and eliminates health-related barriers to the successful resettlement of Virginia’s refugee population; and

WHEREAS, the Office of Newcomer Services in the Virginia Department of Social Services contracts with nonprofit organizations and works cooperatively with employers, civic, ethnic, religious, and immigrant organizations, schools and universities, and other community entities to integrate these newcomers into our communities; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia refugee program works tirelessly to assist newly arrived refugees with English language training, job placement services, and self sufficiency skills;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Governor Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize June 20, 2015, as WORLD REFUGEE DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens and residents.