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. 

See photos:

Letters to Congressional Leaders (write separate letters to each of your U.S. Senators and to your U.S. Representative): “

Dear Senator xx (Representative xx):

I am part of a coalition known as the Chin Association of Maryland (CAM). Chins are a Christian, ethnic nationality from Burma, and our people have been persecuted for our faith and our ethnic nationality. We are grateful to the United States for providing us refuge and a new life and an opportunity to practice our Christian faith freely. We are grateful to call America and Maryland our new home.

Many of us continue to be separated from family members who have fled Burma and are living in precarious situations in Malaysia or India. We very much urge that your help to restore the U.S. resettlement program to allow for their protection and family unity.

As a person of faith and former refugee, I urge you, our Senator (Representative) to consider our requests to

  1. Urge the administration to meet the FY2020 refugee admission goal of 18,000, including by admitting refugees fleeing religious persecution. Many Chins and other refugees from Burma have fled Burma because of such persecution. And return the refugee admissions program back to normal admission levels.
  2. Resume refugee admissions expeditiously, consistent with general travel restrictions, from the countries hosting refugees; and even before this resumption, continue processing vulnerable refugees with acute protection needs.
  3. Likewise resume I-130 family reunification, consistent with general travel restrictions, that has been halted for all families during COVID-19, Also, end the travel ban for families from Burma who are unable to reunite with family members in the United States through the I-130 family reunification program by removing the ban that halted I-130s for families from Burma.
  4. To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the U.S. Resettlement Program, we urge you to cosponsor a bipartisan resolution in support of refugee resettlement, Senate Resolution 545 (or House Resolution 902).

Thank you for considering our requests.

Yours truly,


Advocacy Toolkit

To Urge Representatives to be Sponsors and Supporters of

H.Res. 902/S.Res. 545, Bipartisan Resettlement Resolution

  1. We encourage you to telephone the Representative’s office, calling a staffer with whom you have a relationship or getting the name of a staffer to whom the scheduler refers you.
  2. If you are able to have the “ASK” conversation right then—“will you cosponsor? will you support H.Res. 902”—we urge you to use the bipartisan talking points about H.Res. 902, (S. Res. 545) and to follow-up with the “Dear Staff” and “Dear Representative” letters below.
  3. If the staffer is not available to talk, set an appointment, if possible, or use the email address to request a time for a call. Send the “Dear Staff” and “Dear Representative” emails below. If the staffer is not available for a call, send the email below, without the suggested call time, and do email follow-up about being a cosponsor or supporter. Please also email thank you, if appropriate. The cosponsor list is periodically updated at H.Res. 902 (S.Res. 545)


Dear XXX (Staff),

I work with xyz, and we resettle refugees in your district/state.  I request to have a call with you to discuss whether Representative xxx would like to cosponsor and/or support this important bipartisan resolution on refugee resettlement that commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the program. I suggest  xx a.m., day, date, yr, or at some other agreed upon time.  Please see more information below in my “Dear Representative” letter.

Thank you.

Yours truly,


Dear Representative XXX, (Senator XXX)


We commend original cosponsors Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29th) and Representative John Curtis (R-UT-3rd) for introducing H.Res. 902, a bipartisan resolution celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Refugee Protection Act of 1980. We strongly urge you to support and cosponsor this important bipartisan resolution.

At this time when we as a nation are working together to fight the COVID-19 crisis, a recent study found that 161,000 refugee health care workers and 170,000 refugees working in the U.S. food supply chain, labor with thousands of other essential American workers to keep us healthy and fed. As we celebrate World Refugee Day 2020 and the 40th Anniversary of the Refugee Protection Act of 1980, we celebrate refugee contributions to America over these last 40 years and now during COVID-19.

If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor the resolution, please contact Alex Guajardo with Rep. Garcia at or Rebekah Rodriguez with Rep. Curtis at (For Senators, please contact Susan Occhipiniti with Senator Lankford at or Erica Songer with Senator Coons at  Thank you for your consideration.


Yours truly,