As the world’s largest humanitarian network, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams have long delivered relief to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers around the globe. In the United States, the American Red Cross provides a wide range of support to people who have crossed international borders and are in need of assistance.
During disasters or other emergencies, the Red Cross does not turn people away who need help. When hurricanes, wildfires or other crises strike, we offer aid regardless of immigration status. People impacted by emergencies are not required to be American citizens to access Red Cross services and the Red Cross does not ask families to show identification in order to stay in emergency shelters.
Every year, people lose touch with their loved ones as a result of conflict, disaster or migration. The three simple words, “I am alive” may be all that’s needed to ease the minds of parents, children, and siblings. That’s why the American Red Cross has, for decades, reconnected separated family members around the world and helped people search for missing loved ones.
As part of our Restoring Family Links program, the American Red Cross provides peace of mind to thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the United States by helping them reconnect with their families abroad. We leverage the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network to trace separated family members—which can take years. The American Red Cross offers this tracing service across the United States and, of course, free of charge. People looking for loved ones separated by international conflict, disaster or migration can call our helpline at 844-782-9441 or visit their local Red Cross chapter.
Read about a brother and sister reunited after 25 years.
Basic Aid at the U.S.–Mexico Border and in U.S. Cities
The American Red Cross may provide support as needed to people being bussed by other organizations from the U.S.-Mexico border to U.S. cities. This includes supporting these lead organizations with services for people in their care by providing relief supplies or training. And, depending on local needs, our assistance might also include providing food, water, comfort, health services and mental health support. We aim to prevent and mitigate additional humanitarian consequences that migration can bring — including the potential for separation and loss of contact with family, disappearances, detention and medical issues.
The American Red Cross may also provide relief supplies — such as cots, blankets, hygiene items, first aid kits and towels — for use by local nonprofits caring for people. In some cases, the Red Cross has provided phones to local organizations, which people can use to reconnect with family members back home to let them know they’re safe.
Red Cross Principles
As part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, the American Red Cross is guided by the seven fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. This means we provide services to people who need them in times of emergency—regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status.