New Britain, Connecticut: A Case Report of Refugees in Towns

New Britain, Connecticut has a long history of immigration. This report focuses on the experiences of newly arrived Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Morocco. The Arab population of New Britain has increased faster than other migrant populations over the last eight years, from 161 in 2010 to 733 in 2017. As of December 2018, there were approximately 260 Arabic-speaking families living in New Britain.

The services in the city have taken notice and are starting to make changes to meet the needs of New Britain’s Arabic-speaking populations. Educators and employees of nonprofits told us that their organizations are still collecting data about New Britain’s Arabic-speaking community and trying to understand the specific needs of Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees.

Our research focuses on the organizations involved in the resettlement process and individuals’ experiences with the resettlement process. New Britain is a city with a well-documented history of welcoming immigrants, and the ways in which that history is remembered affect how refugees and immigrants adapt today.