Document Type

Honors Project


As global migration intensifies and diversifies, policy-makers take up border control with heightened security, visa restrictions, and limitations on non-citizen rights. Refugees arrive at the invitation of liberal nations such as the United States; however, even “protected” refugees feel the effects of increasing economic and social conservatism at all levels of governance. This interdisciplinary field research documents the social networks and coping strategies of Somali refugees in the Twin Cities as they face rising challenges of adaptation and integration in the era of fiscal conservatism and national security. Findings suggest that the current “refugee climate” causes Somalis to turn inward for support, whereas successful resettlement and integration in the sense of a broadened belonging requires compromise: a balance of self-sufficiency, religious accommodations, and cross-cultural education.



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