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Catholic Charities assists refugees and immigrants that are legally in the United States. Our Refugee Resettlement program supports refugees who flee their country of origin, often running from violence, war and persecution, to save their lives. They are granted refugee status by the United Nations due to a well-founded case of persecution and cleared for entrance to America by our Department of Homeland Security.

Our Immigration Legal Services team helps reunite those in the U.S. legally with minor children and spouses who remain in their country of origin. Many of those we assist are refugees — those granted refugee status by the United Nations and invited here by the U.S. Federal Government — to reunite with their spouses and minor children. We also help U.S. citizens and those with legal residency secure residency for their spouses and/or children.

Wednesday, 08 August 2018

Teen Refugee Overcomes Obstacles and Dreams of Future

Often on the outside looking in, Hussain was born in Iran to Afghan parents. He states that there wasn’t a comfortable space or safe zone for him. He was not a citizen of Iran and he learned quickly that he would have to use all of his wits if he were to thrive in that environment. The top schools were available for Iranian citizens, and those lacking citizenship were relegated to one of the lesser schools. Hussain was an outstanding student and through the advocacy of a representative of the Department of Education, he was enrolled at an excellent school where he was able to reach his potential.

At the age of 14, Hussain’s father brought the family back to Afghanistan. Once again, even in his homeland, Hussain was a stranger. The family faced numerous safety concerns, and Hussain became an orphan in less than a year. He was forced to leave Afghanistan for his safety.

Hussain trekked through seven countries before making his way to the Unaccompanied Minor Program in Phoenix in May 2015 at the age of 17. At that time, he says he knew about five sentences in English. Ever inventive, he studied courses on YouTube, and he was able to test out of a number of classes. Within one year, he was mostly fluent in English and graduated from high school.Hussain Refugee

Hussain then began coursework at Phoenix College where he was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He graduated in May with his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice Studies. Hussain states that he has seen far too many injustices in his life, and he believes that no one should be above the law. His goals are to join the U.S. Marines and continue his education. He dreams of becoming an attorney and, ultimately, a judge.

At his graduation, Hussain was surrounded by numerous people whose lives he had touched since his arrival to Phoenix. When someone remarked to Hussain that he “collects people along the way,” he commented, “I don’t collect people, I filter them – and I keep the good ones.”

Hussain once mentioned that he used to be a black and white thinker, but that he has learned to incorporate enough gray to entertain the thoughts of others. Sounds like a young man who will make a fine judge one day!

Please join us in supporting refugee and immigrant youth like Hussain by providing a welcoming home while they establish themselves in this country. Catholic Charities is always looking for more people interested in becoming foster parents to foreign-born children. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 602-285-1999.


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