Secondary migrants are refugees who were settled first by the US State Department and a contractor in one state, but choose to move usually because they want to be with their own kind of people, or they find employment and/or social services more desirable elsewhere.
When we first began writing this blog in 2007, we were told it was impossible to track the secondary migrants because it’s America and no one has to report where they move to. Indeed over the last 40 years we have admitted over 3 million refugees, so no one could possibly track them. So, I was surprised to see that in ‘Key Indicators for Refugee Placement FY2014’ the feds are reporting that they have tracked secondary migrants, but surely (the numbers are so small) it must be the most recently resettled ones that are being tracked.
I don’t know what they mean when they say “states report” (page 9). Who in the “state” is keeping track, the non-government contractors, or some agency of state government?
Each year states report on the number of refugees and entrants who moved to a different state outside of their original resettlement location.
Top five states with the most out-migration are: Arizona, California, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania (but as a percentage of the huge numbers resettled in CA, NY and TX these numbers are probably not that meaningful).
States with the most in-migration of secondary migrants are: MN (by a huge margin), OH, Iowa, FL and OK.
Secondary migrants are surely the reason the St. Cloud, MN Somali population is booming.
Our previous posts on this important document, Key Indicators…., are here.