Who We Serve at YMCA International Services

Refugees

Our Clients Are from All Over the World! A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries. Refugees go through strict vetting processes in order to receive legal refugee status and in order to resettle in another country like the U.S.

Current Populations

  • Afghanistan
  • Bhutan
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • El Salvador
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Rwanda
  • Somalia
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

Parolees

A parolee is an individual that has been allowed to enter the United States for humanitarian purposes even though they do not meet the technical requirements for a visa. Parolee status is only temporary, and the parolee must leave the U.S. when the condition that allows them to be here no longer exists. Both Cuban and Haitian parolees are eligible for services through various programs within YMCA International Services.

Victims Of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery, is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Foreign nationals, U.S. nationals, adults, minors, males and females, can all be victims of human trafficking. Houston is considered a major hub for all forms of human trafficking.

Special Immigrant Visa Holder

A special immigrant visa (SIV) holder is an Iraqi or Afghani national that has worked for or on behalf of the U.S. Government. In order to qualify for a SIV, the applicant must have experienced or be experiencing a continuous serious threat as a result of his/her employment by the United States Government.

Asylees

An asylee is an alien who meets the criteria for refugee status, but has entered the U.S. without prior authorization to remain in the U.S. long-term.

Learn More

Detainees

A detainee is a person that is held in custody based on the U.S. government’s belief that they are subject to deportation or removal.

Unaccompanied Minors

An Unaccompanied Minor (UC) is a minor who has left their country of origin due to a variety of reasons. UCs flee their country of origin due to violence, poverty, abuse, etc.

Learn More

Victims Of Domestic Violence: The Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates an opportunity for immigrants who are in abusive relationships with United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents to establish legal immigration status independent of their abusers. To qualify, applicants must be married to, recently divorced from or the child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident; have entered the marriage in good faith; and have been subjected to abuse, battery or extreme cruelty by the parent that has status as a U.S. Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident. Both males and females are eligible to apply for VAWA.