Publication Date



Assisted by Kathleen McGraw and Lucy Nhiem Hong Nguyen


The United States has a long and valued tradition of receiving people from other lands as a result of social and political turmoil. This policy has been reaffirmed frequently in the last quarter century with the arrival of refugees from such geographically diverse locations as Eastern Europe, Cuba, Southeast Asia, and Central America. Perhaps, Southeast Asians have experienced greater national and personal tragedy than any other group of refugees arriving in this country in recent memory. It is specifically this population and their resettlement and adjustment to life in Western Massachusetts which is the subject of this report. These issues are discussed in six separate sections. The introduction provides a general background for Southeast Asian refugee resettlement and the goals and methods of the IRNA project; Section II presents a brief outline of refugee resettlement at the national, state and local levels with more specific details on the geographic and demographic aspects of this population in Western Massachusetts. An assessment of refugee adjustment and needs is profiled in Section III followed by evaluations of these general issues from the perspective of service providers and community-level refugee resettlement organizations in Section IV. Policy and Program Implications and concluding remarks are provided in the final section.

Special Issue