Frequently Asked Questions

Who are refugees and how do they come to the United States?

As defined by Article 1 of the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is “a person owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”

Refugees must first register overseas with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The average time a refugee is displaced from their home country is 15 years. For some refugees, they are born and raised in refugee camps. Having the opportunity to resettle to a third country is like winning the lottery. Less than 1% of the more than 20 million refugees globally will ever have this opportunity. Once registered, if a country offers permanent resettlement a refugee must apply to be considered for third country resettlement. This process can take three or more years.

If I have a media inquiry about The Coalition, who can I contact?

Please email media inquiries to the Coalition.

How will refugees and immigrants help the Otsego community?

The resettlement of refugees stopped the population decline in Utica and contributed to the economic revitalization of the area and we expect similar positive outcomes in Otsego. See The Center’s Economic Impact page for more specifics about the amazing contribution the new populations have made in Utica.

Do refugees and immigrants take Americans’ jobs and lower our wages?

No! Manufacturers, the service industry, and many businesses in Upstate New York do not have enough workforce to fill their open positions. The Center currently works with over 80 employers and they are contacted on a weekly basis about new job opportunities.