The IRC in Tucson, AZ

The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of people, forced to flee violence and persecution, are welcomed by the people of the United States into the safety and freedom of America. These individuals have survived against incredible odds. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Tucson and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives.

Who are refugees?

Refugees are people fleeing violence and persecution—in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and other countries in crisis. They are seeking safety and the chance to move their lives forward.

Why are refugees arriving in Tucson?

The United States has a long tradition of sheltering those fleeing conflict and persecution. Once refugees have been identified by the United Nations refugee agency and cleared for resettlement, the U.S. government works with the IRC and eight other national resettlement agencies to help them restart their lives in America. Out of the nearly 20 million refugees in the world, fewer than 1 percent are considered for resettlement worldwide.

Refugees may be placed in a city where they have relatives or friends, or where there’s an established community that shares their language or culture. Other considerations include the cost of living and a community’s ability to provide medical services. However, as legal U.S. residents, refugees may live in any city and state they choose.

Learn more about how refugee resettlement works.

How does the IRC Tucson help refugees?

Our programs are designed to ensure refugees thrive in America—whether ensuring children are enrolled in school, adults become self-reliant through employment or starting businesses, or families receive acute medical care they need to recover from trauma or illness. The IRC helps those in need to rebuild their lives and regain control of their future in their new home community.

Refugees are greeted and welcomed at the airport by IRC case workers and volunteers to ensure their transition is as comfortable as possible. The IRC also makes sure newly arrived refugees receive:

  • A furnished home
  • Help with rent
  • Health care
  • Nutritious, affordable food
  • English language classes
  • Help building job, computer, and financial literacy skills
  • Education for their children
  • Social services and community support
  • Legal services towards residency and citizenship

Our programs in Tucson:

  • Resettlement: Meeting the basic needs for food, shelter and legal rights in the early, critical stages of resettlement.
  • Economic Empowerment: Protecting, supporting and improving household livelihoods and financial security.
  • Community Integration and Development: Strengthening communities and preparing individuals to participate fully in American society.
  • Health and Wellness: Promoting wellness and ensuring access to healthcare services that address physical and psychological needs.
  • Protection: Promoting durable solutions and ensuring life-saving protection of vulnerable populations.


What services does the IRC provide to the wider community?

The IRC provides high quality, low-cost immigration legal services to refugees, asylees and other immigrants who need help applying for citizenship, green cards, petitioning for family members, travel documents, work authorization and other immigration services. Our immigration services are accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals, and our staff is fully qualified to provide high-quality assistance.

Click Here to learn more about services offered by IRC Tucson's Immigration Services or to contact them directly, call 520 319 2128 ext. 103

How can I help refugees in Tucson?

Donate: Give a tax-deductible financial contribution either via the website or sent to our office.

Volunteer: Read the steps you need to go through to become an IRC volunteer and see our current list of volunteer opportunities here.

Intern with us: Are you a current student or recent graduate? See our current list of internship opportunities and submit an application!

Community Sponsorship:  Community sponsors advance the role of communities in the protection, resettlement, and integration of refugees and other vulnerable populations.

Volunteer as a Group: Interested in getting your team involved in IRC project? Click here to see list of current group opportunities.

Donate New or Gently Used Items: Check the latest list of items most needed by refugee families.  At present we are accepting household items, no clothing. 

Spread the Word: Consider hosting your own Fundraising Campaign (on- or offline). Stay connected via our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, and ask others to do the same!

Other Ways to Get Involved: Employ refugees and connect us to affordable housing options.

What do refugees contribute to Tucson?

Once they acclimate to their new environment, refugees often thrive and contribute to their communities, build careers, purchase homes, and gain citizenship!

Get updates from IRC Tucson!

Sign up for our monthly newsletter here and stay up to date with events, volunteer and intern opportunities, announcements, and more from IRC Tucson. 

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Welcome from our director

Meheria Habibi, Deputy Director of Programs, poses for photo.

In today's world, where displacement is rampant, it's vital to offer unwavering support to those forced to flee their home countries due to violence or persecution. With over two decades of experience aiding refugees and immigrants, I understand the profound importance of community embrace. Proudly rooted in Tucson for 23 years, I've witnessed firsthand the generosity of our community, driven by compassion and solidarity to empower those in need.

Refugees and immigrants, amidst their journey to rebuild their lives in a new land, are guided by hope and solidarity. Their resilience and determination illuminate their path, as they strive to contribute positively to their adopted communities. As they embark on this journey, it's our collective responsibility to provide the necessary support to overcome the challenges of resettlement.

I extend a heartfelt invitation to Tucsonans and partners to join hands with the IRC in our noble endeavor to welcome, support, and empower refugees and immigrants. Together, let's shape a future defined by compassion, inclusivity, and boundless opportunity.

Meheria Habibi
Deputy Director of Programs, IRC in Tucson

Our impact


people in the U.S. received asylum and protection support.

IRC offices across the U.S. provide immediate aid--including food, housing and medical attention—among other support.

Learn about resettlement and asylum


people were assisted to become new U.S. citizens.

The IRC offers high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services and citizenship assistance in cities across the U.S.

Learn about immigration


Our economic empowerment support includes financial coaching, vocational training and asset building.

people with training to help them build careers and income.

Learn more