Introduction to Refugees
Under both international and U.S. law, a refugee is someone outside his or her own country with a well-founded fear of persecution in that country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. In addition, U.S. law recognizes that in certain circumstances persons still within their home countries may be considered as refugees.
The U.S. provides substantial protection and assistance to refugees both in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. Responding to the needs of refugees serves important U.S. humanitarian and foreign policy goals.
RCUSA Backgrounder 'Who is a Refugee'