Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

6-1-2020

First Advisor

Dr. Noha Shawki

Abstract

This research project examines the connotations of successful refugee resettlement and socio-economic integration through a series of first-person interviews focusing on the well-being of refugees in the Houston metropolitan area. The responses from interviewed persons are examined in the broader context of refugee resettlement regimes internationally, in the United States, and also in Houston. Key findings that emerge from this study’s literature review and primary data suggest that services from refugee resettlement agencies, while generally enough for a basic level of self-sufficiency, are not sufficient to provide the kind of long-term success as identified in this study’s interviews with refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders. Given interviewees' responses in the context of domestic and international literature on refugee resettlement and integration, this study finds that refugee resettlement in Houston falls short in the quality of services provided by resettlement agencies, and that the United States’ refugee resettlement system needs more federal support and funding. At the same time, refugees’ high valuation of positive multicultural interactions, social interconnectivity, and professional and educational networking and advancement are also apparent in first-person accounts. These values should be prioritized going forward with the goal of providing a resettlement model that encourages a more holistic wellness through keeping refugees’ long-term integration in mind.

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