Since the military regime took power over the Union of Burma in 1962, the Chin people have faced persecution in Burma based upon their religion as Christians; their particular social group as an ethnic Chin, and their political opinion against the military. As a result, they fled to India and Malaysia to seek refuge there through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In the late 1990s, many university Chin students who had participated in the nationwide protest against the military regime in 1988 fled to India. In 2001, about 1,000 Chin fled to Guam, the U.S. territory.
Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, invoked his authority to provide humanitarian assistances to Chin asylum seekers in Guam. Immigration judges granted asylum status to virtually all of them. They then traveled to the mainland United States to settle in Maryland, Indiana, Texas, and Florida. Since FY2020, over 63,000 Chin refugees have been resettled out of Malaysia and India. Most of them are in Texas, Indiana, Maryland, Kansas, Florida, and other states.
Since FY2018, the number of Chin refugees being resettled out of Malaysia and India has been dramatically decreased. The overall FY2020 refugee admission ceiling is only 18,000 worldwide.
Over 52,000 Chin refugees are still living in Malaysia. About 3,000 refugees are in New Delhi. Approximately, 70,000 lives in Mizoram State of India. CAM have been advocating for these refugees for their third country resettlement as there are very limited local integration options available in Malaysia and India.
Understand more deeply the situation of Chin refugees in Malaysia and India by reading Seeking Refuge: The Chins in Mizoram State, India.
In 2019, CAM Volunteers and advisors visited Malaysia and met with UNHCR officials and Chin refugee communities. Upon, their return, they advocated with the State Department/PRM, UNHCR in Washington, DC, Refugee Council USA and other stakeholders to increase the number of refugees from Burma living in Malaysia, Thailand and India.
In this advocacy activity, CAM also collaborates and partners with other organizations including Karen, Kachin, American Baptist Churches, USA, Chin Baptist Churches USA, etc.
CAM continues to advocate for Chin and other refugees who are in need of third country resettlement.
In 2019, CAM (formerly known as CIANUSA) and American Baptist Churches visited Malaysia and Thailand where they met with refugee communities and UNHCR officials.