Refugees International is a left-of-center advocacy group that aids and protects displaced people, while recommending refugee resettlement and policies to the U.S. government, foreign governments, and the United Nations (UN).
The group claims to be independent because they do not accept government or UN funding.  However, the group has numerous ties and affiliations to progressive Democratic leaders and groups, as well as known left-leaning financial supporters. Michael Madnick, the former treasurer of Sixteen Thirty Fund, has been on Refugees International’s board since 2013.  Financier and philanthropist George Soros is listed as a board director emeritus on Refugees International’s website. 
Refugees International was founded in 1979 by Sue Morton and Michael Morrissey as a response to the Southeast Asian refugee boat crisis of that same year. On July 19, 1979, Diane Lawson, Refugees International’s first executive director, and Morrissey published a full-page ad in the Washington Post that advocated for U.S. Senators and Representatives to support Southeast Asian refugees. That same evening, a group of over 10,000 people attended a Joan Baez concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial and began a rally in support of the refugees from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. 
Each year, the organization conducts “field work” missions across the globe to identify refugees’ needs and creates reports based on their findings.
Morton started Refugees International while living overseas, which became Refugees International Japan. She then returned home to the U.S. and started Refugees International. Both organizations operate independently from one another and Refugees International Japan claims to be a non-profit organization (NGO). Refugees International Japan shares a list of its largest donors in its annual review, including Aston Martin Japan, Panasonic Corporation, Hilton Tokyo, Shell Retiree Association, and Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo. 
In March 2020, Turkey declared that refugees could no longer stay in the country in exchange for monetary aid from the European Union. Devon Cone, senior advocate for women and girls at Refugees International, accuses the European Union of not stepping up to share the responsibility of caring for the refugees. Cone stated that because Greece is part of Europe, Europe has the resources to improve the conditions for refugees in Greece. 
Refugees International was one of over 50 groups to request that Congress establish an independent immigration court that is independent of the Department of Justice in February 2020. The groups accused the Trump administration of undermining due process to accelerate deportations and that the current system is easily manipulated. The groups claimed the courts are backlogged and under-resourced. 
President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget request would increase spending for immigration enforcement agencies and reduce aid to foreign countries, which received condemnation from Refugees International. Eric Schwartz, Refugees International president, stated that President Donald Trump’s budget would reduce money for international and humanitarian aid and defied bipartisan majorities in Congress. 
January 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of federal legislation that combats human trafficking. On the anniversary and after a White House summit on human trafficking, President Donald Trump dedicated a new White House position to address the human trafficking crisis. The president compared human trafficking to “modern-day slavery” and said his administration is committed to eradicating the problem.  The legislation would also expand housing for victims, fund human trafficking programs in schools, and prevent online exploitation of children.  President Donald Trump has worked to end human trafficking while in office by signing multiple pieces of legislation, speaking publicly about the issue, and involving reporters at meetings on the topic at the White House.  Schwartz, criticized and was outspoken regarding President Trump’s new legislation, claiming the Trump administration’s policies endanger trafficking victims due to the denial of special visas enabling trafficking victims to legalize their illegal immigrant status, access services, and seek punishment for their abusers. 
In 2019, President Donald Trump and his administration reduced the number of refugees permitted to seek asylum in the U.S. to, what Refugees International said is, a record low, while increasing the vetting process of arrivals. Schwartz argued that this policy change was being used as a “political wedge issue in a thoroughly irresponsible manner.” 
On February 26, 2019, Refugees International president, Eric Schwartz, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding his and his organization’s opinion on the state of refugee affairs across the globe. Throughout the hearing Schwartz blamed President Donald Trump and his administration for the poor treatment and state of refugees, as well as the struggles displaced people faced. He claimed President Donald Trump has attempted to change policies from former administrations and the Trump administration has greatly reduced humanitarian aid, while reducing the number of asylum seekers permitted to enter the U.S. 
Refugees International’s website only lists one founder, Sue Morton; however, multiple sources state there were two co-founders, including Michael Morrissey. There is conflicting information, some sources stating that Morton was the founder, while others state she was a co-founder with Morrissey.
On Morrissey’s personal website, he states he was a co-founder of Refugees International.  Morrissey was originally a landscape architect, but now is an avid traveler, photographer, and author. He has published his photographs in books and online publications, creating a personal website to showcase his work.  He also has a ‘journal’ section on the website where he chronicles his work and writes about his travels around the world, all while taking pictures.
In June 2017, Eric Schwartz became president of Refugees International. Before joining Refugees International, he had a six-year tenure as the Dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  In 2009, he was appointed by former President Barack Obama as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration where he worked closely with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Previously, he served as the senior human rights and humanitarian official at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, the UN Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery after the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Washington Director of Asia Watch (now the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch), and staff consultant to the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, among other positions in the U.S. government, at the United Nations, and in the non-profit sector. 
Actor Matt Dillon also sits on the board and is outspoken about his work with the group. 
Refugees International is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. It reported $6,237,971 in revenue and $3,734,376 in expenditures in its 2018 fiscal year.  The organization reported 28 employees, with 45 volunteers, and 29 members of its governing body.  The president of the group, Eric Schwartz, received $294,390 in total compensation in 2018.  Refugees International spent $352,603 on lobbying efforts. 
Refugees International donors include corporations, foundations, and individuals. The financial statements include over a dozen anonymous donors. Notable donors include Google, Hopewell Fund, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, NoVo Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, World Bank Community Connections Campaign, Humanity United, Pfizer, the Moriah Fund, Ridgewells, Pivotal Foundation, UPS, Caterpillar, Dr. School Foundation, Global Impact, Repsol Oil & Gas USA, Reuter Foundation, Natacha and Anthony Weiss, and the Weiss Foundation. 
George Soros and his philanthropic network have contributed a substantial amount of money to Refugees International: Since 1999, his Open Society Foundations have donated over $900,000, and his Foundation to Promote Open Society has donated $1.1 million since 2009. 
Other major foundation grantors to Refugees International include the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund (over $2 million since 2009), the Charles Engelhard Foundation (over $1.8 million since 2005), the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program (almost $2 million since 2007), and the Ford Foundation (over $1.9 million since 2000).  Refugees International has received support from Cultures of Resistance Network, a radical left-wing private foundation.