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Refugees arrive in Worthington via Welcome Corps

The first refugees to be privately sponsored by Americans through the Welcome Corps have arrived in the United States.

A three-generation family from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania and an individual from Ethiopia were welcomed to their new communities on June 20 -- coinciding with World Refugee Day -- by their private sponsors in Worthington as well as Moorhead. The three-generation family of five individuals has settled in Worthington.

"Local communities across the country have long been at the heart of our refugee resettlement program," stated a press release from the Office of the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. "By welcoming these first arrivals, Minnesotans are leading the way as the Department of State rolls out the Welcome Corps nationwide in a groundbreaking innovation to the U.S. approach for resettling refugees."

The Department of State, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, launched the Welcome Corps in January. The Welcome Corps, states the press release, "is a private sponsorship initiative that enables everyday Americans to directly sponsor refugees from around the world to resettle in their communities. The Welcome Corps builds on the enthusiasm Americans have displayed by inviting American citizens and lawful permanent residents, like the sponsors in Minnesota who welcomed these newest arrivals, to do what Americans do best – be generous neighbors, guides, and friends to refugee newcomers as they seek to build new lives in the United States."

The Welcome Corps seeks to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans to step forward as private sponsors in the program’s first year and offer a welcoming hand to resettle at least 5,000 refugees admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. For more information on the Welcome Corps, visit

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