Who are they?
The Bhutanese refugees are primarily the descendants of Nepali immigrants who came to Bhutan in the 1800s looking for space to farm. At the time of their entrance, southern Bhutan was largely uninhabited by the Buddhist Bhutanese. The existing Bhutanese community nicknamed the new comers "Lhotsampas" ("people of the south"). As the southern Bhutanese community grew, they passed on to their children their Nepali heritage, including language, religion, and culture.
Throughout the 1900s, tensions between the northern and southern Bhutanese grew. In the early 1990s, the situation came to a head: tens of thousands of southern Bhutanese were forcibly expelled from the country. The majority fled to western Nepal, where waited in seven UN run refugee camps to return home.
Where are they now?
Despite repeated efforts by the government of Nepal, the southern Bhutanese have not been allowed to return home. After 20 years of waiting, and no crack in Bhutan's firm rejection of its southern inhabitants, the UN offered the refugees in the camps an opportunity to be resettled into a new country. The United States has opened its arms and--as of January 2014--the US has welcomed nearly 70,000 of the estimated 100,000 Bhutanese refugees.
Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal - PDF (COR)
First of 60,000 Refugees from Bhutan Arrive in US (CNN)
Resettlement Referral from Nepal Reaches Six-figure Mark (UNCHR)
In Pictures: Nepal's Bhutanese Refugees (AlJazeera)
Bhutan is no Shangri-La (NY Times)
Bhutanese Refugee Children's Research - PDF (Refugee Youth Project)
Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal (US Dept. of State)