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Amarillo is the largest city of the Texas Panhandle, with over 200,000 people. The city has also long been the destination of numerous refugee resettlements. As recently as 2014, Amarillo was taking in more refugees per capita than any other city in Texas (and 41st nationwide). This has produced an interesting environment, as the influx has staffed the local meat-packing industry, disrupted some public institutions, and initiated incredible displays of hospitality from local citizens and churches.

The primary reason that resettlement agencies have prioritized Amarillo is the meat-packing industry. Meat-packing plants such as JBS and Tyson Foods provide immediate employment opportunities with good wages and benefits, even without English ability.

Unfortunately, these jobs are very physically demanding, and many employees find it difficult to withstand the work for years on end. Additionally, the shift schedules make it difficult for adults to spend time with their families.

The following charts show some of the statistics of local refugee resettlement over the past few years. Notice in particular that over half of the incoming refugee resettlements since 2015 have been from the nation of Myanmar, with 745 individuals.

Amarillo Refugee Arrivals by Country of Origin 2015-2019
Total Amarillo Arrivals 2010-2019

Finally, here are the numbers of overall resettlements for each year since 2010.

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