Most new arrivals come from refugee camps from countries bordering Burma where they lived illegally for years before being admitted to the U.S.
Hlawn Ceu says she and her businessman husband fled to Malaysia to avoid persecution by Burma's military rulers.
She says living in Malaysia for two years without documents was hard. She had to hide in a small apartment with more than 30 people and shared whatever food they could get. She also said there were constant fears among the refugees of getting arrested by the Malaysian police.
IRC officials say hundreds of thousands of Burmese have fled to countries neighboring Burma, but the Burmese population in the U.S. is relatively small. Still, the Washington area is emerging as a hub for ethnic Chin, a minority that speaks a distinctive language, practices Christianity and hails from western Burma.
Source, VOA News