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Refugee resettlement in Tucson is on the rise, with a 3.2 percent increase in numbers so far this year, said officials of the International Rescue Committee.

That pace puts the city ahead of last year, when 719 refugees were settled. This year's number could approach 800, officials said.

"We focus on helping refugees ... who have fled their countries due to persecution, or well founded fear of persecution due to race, religion ... political opinion," said Aaron Grigg, program manager for the International Rescue Committee in Tucson.

IRC is one of the three Tucson organizations aiding refugees rebuild their lives in these foreign soils. The organization provides them with resettlement services on an ongoing basis. But, Grigg said many of them become independent in merely a few days.