Our Cause

The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 79.5. million people around the world have been forced from home by conflict and persecution at the end of 2018. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.

BeKinder coffee is partnering with Refugee Services of Texas to help with Economic Empowerment program and Education Program.

Here we have outlined the distinctions between migrant groups and offer a compassionate understanding of immigration. As you’ll see, these groups are at times perceived differently in the U.S. due to legal status, yet migrants’ experiences are similar in nature.

Refugee: a refugee is any person who was forced to flee their home country due to persecution and cannot return home because of well-founded fear associated with race, religion, nationality, group membership or political opinion.

Asylum-seeker: An asylee is a person who applies for asylum , an international human right, due to issues of safety in their homeland. Asylees seek protection for reasons similar to refugees.
In some cases, asylum seekers must wait for their claim to be processed as a decision is made regarding their residency in the U.S.

Internally Displaced Person (IDP): An IDP is someone who has forcibly fled their home, yet is displaced within their home country. IDPs seek safety in many areas across the region, as they do not cross an international border to seek refuge. Unlike refugees, IDPs are not protected by international law and do not receive federal assistance because they are legally under the protection of their own government.

SIV (Special Immigrant Visa): Some Iraqi and Afghan soldiers who offered linguistic, cultural, and geographic assistance to the U.S. military for at least 2 years qualify for SIV visas. These special visas are granted by the U.S. Department of State and SIVs are admitted to the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security.

Lawful permanent resident: A lawful permanent resident is an immigrant who comes to the U.S., applies for residency, and is given permission to live and work permanently in the U.S.

Undocumented Migrant: Undocumented migrants are people living in the U.S. without a visa or permanent residency card. They migrate for reasons similar to refugees and asylees, due to
issues of safety, economic viability, livelihood, and environmental conditions.
***Source: UNHCR (unhcr.org)


  • Are refugees dangerous?
    Refugees are not dangerous; they are the ones fleeing danger. They come to our shores fully vetted and documented, often traumatized and bereft of loved ones. Refugees are screened under the strictest inter-agency security process ever devised, which includes registration and data collection by the UNHCR; interviews and data cross-referencing through the Department of State; security checks through the National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State, and others; a DHS interview; biometric security checks; medical checks; and a cultural orientation.
  • Is refugee resettlement bipartisan?
    Refugee resettlement has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Presidents of all parties have repeatedly affirmed the value of admitting refugees and how it reflects our core American values.

    Country of Origin

    Reasons for Refuge

    Country of Origin

    Reasons for Refuge


    Afghans have suffered more than 40 years of conflict, natural disasters, chronic poverty, food insecurity, COVID-19 and most recently the Taliban takeover of major cities in 2021

    Democratic Republic of Congo

    Since DRC gained independence from Belgium in 1960, there has been ongoing unrest in the country. Despite the end of a civil war in 2003, violence continues throughout regions of the DRC and has forced millions to flee from their homes

    Myanmar (Burma)

    In 2017, violence spread throughout the Rakhine State, forcing over 700,000 people out of the country as villages were burned and thousands were killed 

    Ethiopia (Tigray Region)

    The armed conflict began on November 4, 2020 between the federal government and regional forces, driving thousands from their homes. Additionally, rapid urban expansion, ongoing droughts, and seasonal floods continue to displace people annually


    Beginning in 2015, Burundi’s former president, Pierre Nkurunziza, refused to step down after serving two terms as president. When Nkrurnziza refused to relinquish power, civilian protests began and lasted for months, followed by violence and killings from the military


    The Iraqi refugee crisis is the result of decades of conflict and violence in the region. In 2014, violence escalated when ISIS launched attacks in northern Iraq. As a result, millions of families were forced to flee their homes and half of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed

    North of Central America (Guatemala, Hondoros, El Salvador)

    People from the NCA region are fleeing their homes in search of safety due to gang violence, extortion, persecution, poverty and food insecurity


    Over the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Somalia because of a civil war in the 1990s and continued political instability. Flooding and food insecurity have added to Somalis’ displacement


    Following a deadly civil war, South Sudan was established as a new country in 2011. In 2013, conflict surged in the new country, leading to armed conflict, economic decline, disease and hunger. This conflict has forced millions to flee from their homes and left millions more displaced inside the country


    Starting in March 2011, the Syrian refugee crisis began when a public demonstration in support of teenagers arrested for anti-government graffiti, were met by a violent government crackdown. The arrests sparked public demonstrations throughout Syria, which were violently suppressed by government forces. As the conflict escalated, a civil war ensued and forced millions from their homes.


    In 1988, a rebel group named the Lord’s Resistance Army killed tens of thousands of Ugandan citizens, displacing over 1 million people. After the passage of a peace agreement in 2006, Ugandans have gradually rebuilt their lives and communities.


    Noted as the largest exodus in recent Latin American history, people are fleeing Venezuela to escape safety concerns, violence, poverty, and economic vulnerability following a collapse.

    ***Source: UNHCR (www.unrefugees.org/news)

    Rights + Why Should I Care?

    Mobility as a Human Right
    BeKinder believes that mobility, or the act of moving from one country to another for whatever reason, is a human right. Human mobility should not be hindered by policies which drastically limit or deter immigration to the U.S. We are called to share our country, communities, resources, opportunities, and networks with others, regardless of migration status.

    Why Should I Care?

    Using Max Weber’s sociological concept of Verstehen, or the thoughtful attempt to imagine someone else’s life as your own, is a useful tool for stepping out of your perspective and into a migrant’s shoes to better understand the immigrant experience. For example, imagine you are a refugee from Burma. After seven years of living in a refugee camp, you are finally vetted and approved for resettlement in the U.S. You and your family were selected to resettle in Texas, a
    state that receives a large number of refugees each year. Leaving Burma by plane, you and your family arrive at the U.S. airport and are warmly greeted by members of refugee-serving organizations in Dallas. They take you to your new apartment, which is pre-furnished and arranged before you set foot on U.S. soil. After the warm welcome, you soon realize how different the U.S. is from Burma--there are different laws, social norms, and cultures which complicate the transition. You have little understanding of the English language, you are unemployed and must secure a job within 90 days, and you have limited cash assistance to support a family of five. Additionally, you are required to work closely with a caseworker who
    manages your personal and professional progress in the U.S. After a month of adjusting to life in a new country, you juggle a low-paying, overnight stocking job at Walmart, attend ESL classes when possible, and help with childcare. This scenario captures the complexity of refugee lives as they adjust to life in the U.S. Migrants from all backgrounds share similar stories of displacement, resettlement, and adjustment to life in a new country. Using verstehen allows us to interpret viewpoints outside of ourselves, encourages empathy towards immigration, and
    promotes compassion towards migrants.

    Reading List:


  • “The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State.” By John C. Torpey.
      1. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Invention_of_the_Passport.html?id=5vBtAgaFh6EC 
    1. “The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement.” By Nicholas De Genova and Nathalie Peutz
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Deportation_Regime/IlxeGyAoZ24C?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    2. “Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move.” By Reece Jones
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Violent_Borders/-BFyCwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    3. “Asian Immigration to the United States.” By Philip Q. Yang
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Asian_Immigration_to_the_United_States/7IA2bwAACAAJ?hl=en 
    4. “Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation.” By Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Legacies/RbIwDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    5. “Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor.” By Evelyn Nakano Glenn
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Unequal_Freedom/9SAsEAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    6. “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.” By Gloria Anzaldúa
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Borderlands/fmuvtAEACAAJ?hl=en 
    7. “Refugia: Radical Solutions to Mass Displacement.” By Robin Cohen and Nicholas Van Hear
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Refugia/tELBDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    8. “Rightlessness in an Age of Rights: Hannah Arendt and the Contemporary Struggles of Migrants.” By Hannah Arendt
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Rightlessness_in_an_Age_of_Rights/9mc3BQAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    9. “We Refugees.” Edited by Emma Larking 
      1. https://www.google.com/books/edition/We_Refugees/C85WyAEACAAJ?hl=en