Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Policy and Law

First Advisor

Professor Abigail Fisher Williamson

Second Advisor

Professor Rachel L. Moskowitz


This thesis explores how different models of refugee resettlement influence refugee integration outcomes. Currently, the US offers two primary models: sponsorship through a voluntary agency with support from a community group, typically a religious congregation. Private sponsorship, or unaffiliated volunteering with refugees also occurs locally across the United States. Previous literature largely addresses the challenges of case-management model in facilitating refugee integration, but does not assess how U.S. community-driven approaches to resettlement affect refugees’ economic and linguistic outcomes. In the first section, this thesis examines the history of refugee resettlement in Connecticut through refugee admissions data, organizational analysis of the states’ principle resettlement agencies, and the Hartford area’s municipal involvement with resettlement. I find that Catholic Charities, Connecticut’s largest case-management agency, has been ineffectual in its past initiatives in resettling refugees. In total, I conduct twenty-two interviews with case-managers, community volunteers and Syrian refugees. Overall, my findings suggest that community and private sponsorship (largely based in West Hartford) enhances refugee families’ social capital, and, in turn, economic, linguistic, and social integration. At the same time, this phenomenon of largely privileged suburbanites helping individual refugee families achieve mobility perpetuates systems of metropolitan inequality.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Law.