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Arizona on track for 2nd landmark year of refugee resettlements

Data from the State Department show the number of refugees starting new lives in the United States roughly doubled in March and has stayed consistent.

Arizona is on track this year to welcome its second highest total refugees since 1981, which would make 2022 and 2023 landmarks for resettlements in the state.

Nearly 12,000 refugee are on track to arrive in 2022 and 2023, versus only about 1,300 hundred in the two years before.

Connie Phillips is president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, which helps people forced to flee their countries adjust to life in Arizona.

“And they go right to work. It’s a self-sufficiency program, so they support themselves within three to six months at the very latest,” Phillips said.

Former refugees take jobs in fields like manufacturing and health care that need workers.

“Of course, the challenge right now for anybody is housing in Arizona,” Phillips said.  

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Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.