Refugee Services

Refugee Services | 3645 E. Pima (Catalina High School), Tucson, AZ 85716 |  (520) 232-8614 | Email Us

Our History

TUSD has been receiving refugees since the late 1970s with the Vietnamese and South East Asian refugees. The current refugee resettlement laws and regulations were implemented in the 1980 Refugee Act, which aimed to establish a federally funded domestic refugee program under a public-private partnership model. In the last decade, Arizona has consistently been among the top ten states in terms of both average annual refugee arrivals and number of refugees per capita. In the 1980s the refugees from Vietnam, the Soviet Union and Cambodia were the largest groups to arrive in Arizona. In the 1990s, the largest number of refugees came from Bosnia and in the 2000s most refugees came from Iraq, Cuba, Somalia, Burma, Sudan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.

In 2005, the TUSD Welcome Center opened the Refugee Center to address the needs of the more than 200 refugees in the district and in anticipation of hundreds of refugee children enrolling in the district over the next few years. Services ranged from one-stop registration, evaluation and educational placement of children to community service information. Changed to Refugee Services, the department moved to Family and Community Outreach. In 2012, Refugee Services became part of the Department of Student Equity and Intervention.

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