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Syrian refugees


Amira
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177 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the US accept Syrian refugees?

    • Yes, and I think the current vetting system is reliable
      117
    • Yes, if we increase the vetting
      36
    • No
      18
    • Other
      6
  2. 2. If you answered yes on the first question, how many refugees should we accept this year?

    • Less than 10,000
      6
    • 10,000
      8
    • 65,000
      8
    • 110,000
      11
    • More than 110,000
      52
    • I'm not sure
      75
    • I answered no on the first question
      17


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I've been working on a couple of projects about refugees in the US and I'm curious about attitudes toward refugees on these boards. This is not trying to be political so please keep it that way.

 

On the second question, try to pick a number that is close to what you might think is appropriate, or leave a comment if nothing fits.

 

For some background on the numbers, a couple thousand Syrian refugees had been accepted before fiscal year 2016. 10000 were accepted in FY 2016 and the goal is 110,000 in FY 2017.

 

ETA that this post is specifically about Syrian refugees since they are getting more attention in the us than other refugee populations. There are, of course, refugees from many countries being resettled in the US.

Edited by Amira
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I personally I am just so grateful that me and my children haven't ever faced such trauma and crisis.  A wealthy nation like ours is morally obligated to help, and helping is also politically prudent.

 

I do know a woman who thinks the Syrian refugee crisis is really a way to sneak ISIS soliders into America. She's really, really dimwitted.

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I would like to answer but I hear conflicting things about the current vetting system. Some say refugees are brought over almost immediately after a cursory check in to their background, but refugees who've actually gone through the process say it take approximately 2 years and they go through checking in to the connections of all their relatives, personal and business contacts, etc, to make sure there are no ties to terror groups at all. My thoughts on the current vetting process obviously depend greatly on what that current process IS; does anyone have (preferably bipartisan) info on that?

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I would like to answer but I hear conflicting things about the current vetting system. Some say refugees are brought over almost immediately after a cursory check in to their background, but refugees who've actually gone through the process say it take approximately 2 years and they go through checking in to the connections of all their relatives, personal and business contacts, etc, to make sure there are no ties to terror groups at all. My thoughts on the current vetting process obviously depend greatly on what that current process IS; does anyone have (preferably bipartisan) info on that?

 

I personally know several refugee families and the second is more like the process they describe. Even family members who are not applying are investigated. It is not a quick process. The only refugees who came over quicker (<2 years) were working for US govt  and/or contractors and hence already vetted.

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I would like to answer but I hear conflicting things about the current vetting system. Some say refugees are brought over almost immediately after a cursory check in to their background, but refugees who've actually gone through the process say it take approximately 2 years and they go through checking in to the connections of all their relatives, personal and business contacts, etc, to make sure there are no ties to terror groups at all. My thoughts on the current vetting process obviously depend greatly on what that current process IS; does anyone have (preferably bipartisan) info on that?

This is one of the projects I've been working on. I don't want to affect people's answers by posting it here, and I promise that I'm not trying to drive traffic to my blog, but I have a FAQ about Syrian refugees posted there as my most recent post. My views on this issue will be obvious from that post, but again, that's not the point here. http://amiralace.blogspot.com/2016/10/syrian-refugees-and-why-we-must-welcome.html
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I live in a refugee relocation city.  The vetting and placement process takes years.  What's surprising to me about the whole process is:

1. the placement sponsoring organization often only gets 24-48 hours notice that a family is coming, and is often scrambling to find a suitable apartment, furniture, etc.

2. the refugee family has very little support once they are here (job training, school support for the children, language support, access to transitional funds)

3. Syrian refugees have the most publicity, but they are certainly not the only ones being forced out due to civil war, the loss of infrastructure or the complete disintegration of functioning society.  Why aren't we hearing more about Africa, SE Asia, and central america?

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I answered I don't know the number we should accept from Syria specifically, but I am all for accepting refugees.  The reason I selected don't know is because there are refugees from places other than Syria who need safe new homes, too.  I feel like it shouldn't matter specifically where they are from to get a space, but rather just that they have completed the whole vetting process (yes, it takes 2 or more years from application to admittance - you can google "un refugee vetting process" for a ton of hits from a variety of sources - this one on CNN seemed to lay it out the best from my quick glancing through a few articles: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/16/politics/syrian-refugees-u-s-applicants-explainer/index.html ) and the US has said we have openings for people at that time.

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I live in a refugee relocation city. The vetting and placement process takes years. What's surprising to me about the whole process is:

1. the placement sponsoring organization often only gets 24-48 hours notice that a family is coming, and is often scrambling to find a suitable apartment, furniture, etc.

2. the refugee family has very little support once they are here (job training, school support for the children, language support, access to transitional funds)

3. Syrian refugees have the most publicity, but they are certainly not the only ones being forced out due to civil war, the loss of infrastructure or the complete disintegration of functioning society. Why aren't we hearing more about Africa, SE Asia, and central america?

There are a lot of refugees being resettled in the US from other parts of the world. They haven't gotten the negative attention that Syrian refugees have though, so there hasn't been controversy over their being resettled. But they are certainly arriving in the US.

 

Central Americans are a different category though. They're not defined, usually, as refugees by the UN so they're not allowed to resettle in the US as refugees, which is an entirely separate huge problem.

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I think the US should be doing more. However, fear is powerful. I live near a neighborhood with many refugees from the Middle East and there is a fair amount of vocal Anti American rhetoric. At the same time I read their stories http://www.humansofnewyork.com/tagged/refugee-stories

And am reminded that they are people. People like me who have been forced to leave all that they know and start over. People who, like me, just want their children to be safe, fed, and have a roof over their heads.

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I don't have a number but I do support bringing refugees here. I guess to me it doesn't matter which country they are coming from, refugees need a place to go and we as a nation can help.

 

I'm not sure if Syrian refugees are coming to my area but we do have refugees from other countries here. In the couple of interactions I have had I learned that their stories are often heartbreaking but they are thankful to be here. The people I have met are moms just trying to keep their children safe.

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On a side note, if anyone knows of options to work with helping refugees settle, please post links because it's one thing I've been toying with as I've been contemplating what I want to be when I grow up - esp now that I'm not working at school.

There are nine official resettlement agencies working all over the US helping refugees. The best way to find out if there are any in your area is to search for "refugee resettlement agency" and your city, a nearby large city, or your state. Generally there are more opportunities to help if you live a larger city since there are more employment options in bigger cities, but sometimes they are resettled in smaller places too.

 

Agencies need a wide variety of volunteers and often volunteers need background checks. Drivers, people to help sort donations, setting up apartments, picking up families at the airport, translation, office work, and so much more are needed. You can also do one-time bigger projects with a group, or best of all, commit to sponsoring a refugee family and help them transition to life in the US.

 

Before we moved this summer, I was able to do a couple of different projects with a refugee agency in DC with some Afghan refugees. It was a great opportunity.

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There are a lot of refugees being resettled in the US from other parts of the world. They haven't gotten the negative attention that Syrian refugees have though, so there hasn't been controversy over their being resettled. But they are certainly arriving in the US.

 

Obviously Syrian refugees are a hot button topic right now because of religion.  Of course, there are refugees who are also Muslim from other countries, too.  I think because there are currently so many of them and because of certain images (like the child that drowned or the little boy in the ambulance) we "see" the Syrians more.  And then they stay in the news because of their religion and the perceived threat of that religion.  The last time I remember hearing about many refugees from one area being resettled was when I was a teenager - the Albanians.  I don't remember much controversy about them (but I could be wrong because of my age).  It looks like the US resettled nearly 70,000 refugees in FY 2015 which means the majority of those we accepted were not Syrian at all.

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Obviously Syrian refugees are a hot button topic right now because of religion. Of course, there are refugees who are also Muslim from other countries, too. I think because there are currently so many of them and because of certain images (like the child that drowned or the little boy in the ambulance) we "see" the Syrians more. And then they stay in the news because of their religion and the perceived threat of that religion. The last time I remember hearing about many refugees from one area being resettled was when I was a teenager - the Albanians. I don't remember much controversy about them (but I could be wrong because of my age). It looks like the US resettled nearly 70,000 refugees in FY 2015 which means the majority of those we accepted were not Syrian at all.

Yeah, FY 2016 had 85,000 refugees and about 12,000 of them were Syrian. FY 2015 had a couple thousand Syrian refugees at the most out of 70,000, like you said. Most refugees entering the US aren't Syrian, although that will change next year.

 

The numbers are really dependent on UN requests and current needs. The main reason FY 2017's number will be so much higher is because the UN requested the US take in more people.

 

Here's a really interest report about the distribution of refugees in not-wealthy countries.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/tackling-the-global-refugee-crisis-from-shirking-to-sharing-responsibility

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I would like to answer but I hear conflicting things about the current vetting system. Some say refugees are brought over almost immediately after a cursory check in to their background, but refugees who've actually gone through the process say it take approximately 2 years and they go through checking in to the connections of all their relatives, personal and business contacts, etc, to make sure there are no ties to terror groups at all. My thoughts on the current vetting process obviously depend greatly on what that current process IS; does anyone have (preferably bipartisan) info on that?

 

Sure, it's right there on the US State Department website. Anyone who wants to know how it is done can check it out! 

 

https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees

 

Then here is some more: 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/11/20/infographic-screening-process-refugee-entry-united-states

 

 

Edited by TechWife
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I think that any country, through lack of action and will (even though they had the capability to act), who helped CREATE these refugees should accept some.  We definitely qualify as a country who didn't do nearly enough to help these people when it mattered most.  However, we are a continent away and I don't feel that our assistance must always be in placing refugees here.  We have the ability to help them settle on their own continent and be extremely selective about who we allow to come here.  I don't think the American people will ever have enough accurate details on the vetting/immigration process to be able to make a judgment on numbers, what more needs to be done, honestly, info supposedly "available" or not. Please. This is the government that accidentally released hundreds of illegal immigrants that included dangerous criminals.  Pardon the mistrust.  So, yes, refugees.  I can't agree to more than just that.

Edited by 6packofun
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I put other only because I don't know what the current vetting system is.  But, I am definitely in support of accepting Syrian refugees.  I am assuming the current vetting system is good.  I actually have a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law who are immigrants who went through the system, and at least for them, it seemed extremely thorough.  However, they came through as regular immigrants and not refugees seeking political asylum.  I assume there is a difference in the immigration process. 

 

 

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This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

Edited by Crimson Wife
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This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

 

A group IS a number of individuals.  

 

Those are the only board-approved words I have for that.

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This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

Are Muslim babies less deserving of security than Christian babies?

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I said earlier that I cannot put a number on who we should accept because I don't feel I am familiar enough with the situation. I have to add though that I am very much on the side of generous refugee (and immigration in general) policies.

Edited by maize
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The current vetting system is sufficient. I can't give a number because although I know people are fleeing Syria in droves, I personally don't know how many or which countries are accepting (other than the fact that Europe is taking the majority and we are only taking a few). I am up for more a more balanced distribution, but I personally don't know what that would be. 

 

I do know we have at least a few families in the area from Syria because they have run local newspaper stories on their arrival.

 

I just keep coming back to if I was running with my family, I sure hope someone would allow me a place to go.

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This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

 

Not only is it not PC (oh how I wish people actually used that term correctly) it is evil.  I wonder what Jesus would say?

 

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I think the larger a country's population, the more refugees it should resettle. As the US has over 300 million people, a hundred thousand refugees could be more easily absorbed here than anywhere in Europe. Five hundred newcomers each in the 250+ US cities with populations of over 100,000 would fit in nicely IMO.

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The US is one of the world's largest nations both in terms of landmass and population. (And in contrast with the other physically large nations, great amounts of our land aren't frozen.)

 

Additionally, we have a fairly robust economy, and we have lots of experience dealing with multiple cultures in one nation.

 

Which all means we can easily absorb quite a number of refugees.

 

As the US has over 300 million people, a hundred thousand refugees could be more easily absorbed here than anywhere in Europe.

 

The EU as a whole has a larger population... but in a smaller amount of space, which possibly does matter.

 

Five hundred newcomers each in the 250+ US cities with populations of over 100,000 would fit in nicely IMO.

 

It seems appealing to spread them out so that no one city has a huge burden, but might it be easier for the refugees if they're settled in areas with large communities of refugees from the same culture? Maybe all the Syrian refugees get resettled here, all the Nigerian refugees get resettled there, all the Central American refugees get resettled somewhere else?

 

Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

 

Wow. Did you go to a really bad kindergarten class, or was it your childhood Sunday school that taught you to have so little compassion?

Edited by Tanaqui
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This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

1. It's not un PC, it's just flat out unChrist like. And that's the nicest way to say it. Christians are not more valuable than non-Christians. FFS.

 

2. Even accepting your premise that Christians are a safer group to let in (and I don't), your idea had a huge fault. There is no way to verify someone's religion. I'm sure that if a terrorist was trying to get into the country via the refugee resettlement program (that's one patient terrorist, there are much fast ways to get in), he or she would have no issue lying on a form.

Edited by LucyStoner
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On a side note, if anyone knows of options to work with helping refugees settle, please post links because it's one thing I've been toying with as I've been contemplating what I want to be when I grow up - esp now that I'm not working at school.

I know a WTM'er who is doing this right now. I'll mention to her that you are looking for info! She's involved with resettlement and education for the children (which would obviously be in your bailiwick, as well).

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I've thought about this a lot. One reason was that even though we weren't refugees for the past 2 years, I felt like I was fleeing something. We were trying to find a home and jobs after the successful sale of our home, but job loss for my husband. We had to leave and we chose to leave where we'd been living for several years, less than 10. We only would look at jobs in areas of the country we thought we'd be able to tolerate living.

So, to be run out of the area where my family may have lived since the possible beginning of time, or for the last 300 years would be really hard, don't you think?

Brainwashing by your government, no matter where you've lived will play a big part in your feelings of where you're relocated.

When I'm feeling a little ungrateful I go the lds.org website and look at the videos of the help the church gives to refugees in their own countries or countries next to theirs, videos of the help being given to the needy in all over the world. Perspective, perspective. 

I haven't answered your poll yet but I say yes, we should always accept refugees.

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I think that any country, through lack of action and will (even though they had the capability to act), who helped CREATE these refugees should accept some.  We definitely qualify as a country who didn't do nearly enough to help these people when it mattered most.  However, we are a continent away and I don't feel that our assistance must always be in placing refugees here.  We have the ability to help them settle on their own continent and be extremely selective about who we allow to come here.

 

The best place to resettle refugees is within their own country (possible, for example, if, say, one end of the country is dangerous to the person for whatever reason, but the other end would be safe).  Next best is a country nearby.  Generally the culture will be similar enough and even possibly the languages will be similar enough to make the transition easier.  This happens a lot, for example, when Afghanis are resettled in Pakistan.  The last option is to resettle them in a random country somewhere else in the world.  As it happens, the second option is actually a common one.  Countries around Syria are taking in a very large portion of the refugees right now.  No one gets to apply for refugee status in a specific country.  They just apply for refugee status.  Then when they are approved they are matched to a country that has a current opening for them.  This means a Syrian refugee could go to Jordan or the US.  They don't know where they will end up.  In fact, they are much more likely to end up in Jordan than the US.

 

This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

 

Because Christians don't commit crimes?  Christians are never terrorists?  Christians are better people?  We only want Christians in the US?

 

I have been thinking about how lucky I am that I was born in the United States.  I have so much compared to so many people.  To whom much is given much is expected (paraphrasing Luke there).  Maybe we are expected to help these people *no matter who they are.*  We are commanded to love everyone (now I'm paraphrasing Jesus).  Everyone.  Not just other Christians.  Everyone.  And if I err on the side of loving others no matter who they are too much and serving them too much, I'm okay with that.

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The best place to resettle refugees is within their own country (possible, for example, if, say, one end of the country is dangerous to the person for whatever reason, but the other end would be safe).  Next best is a country nearby.  Generally the culture will be similar enough and even possibly the languages will be similar enough to make the transition easier.  This happens a lot, for example, when Afghanis are resettled in Pakistan.  The last option is to resettle them in a random country somewhere else in the world.  As it happens, the second option is actually a common one.  Countries around Syria are taking in a very large portion of the refugees right now.  No one gets to apply for refugee status in a specific country.  They just apply for refugee status.  Then when they are approved they are matched to a country that has a current opening for them.  This means a Syrian refugee could go to Jordan or the US.  They don't know where they will end up.  In fact, they are much more likely to end up in Jordan than the US.

 

 

Because Christians don't commit crimes?  Christians are never terrorists?  Christians are better people?  We only want Christians in the US?

 

I have been thinking about how lucky I am that I was born in the United States.  I have so much compared to so many people.  To whom much is given much is expected (paraphrasing Luke there).  Maybe we are expected to help these people *no matter who they are.*  We are commanded to love everyone (now I'm paraphrasing Jesus).  Everyone.  Not just other Christians.  Everyone.  And if I err on the side of loving others no matter who they are too much and serving them too much, I'm okay with that.

I think the bolded is exactly what was meant. :(

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This is politically incorrect, but I think our country should prioritize Middle Eastern Christians fleeing persecution in the region over other refugees from the Middle East. I'm not against accepting Muslims, but I do believe they should receive lower priority compared to Christians. Let's not pretend that Christian refugees and Muslim refugees as a group (not talking about individuals) pose the same security risks to our country.

 

Funnily enough, when the Maronites were being resettled in my state (in Australia,) it was a Muslim imam who did a lot of the work of meeting them upon arrival, getting them jobs and whatnot.

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And it would be, except for the recent bombings all over the world.  Innocent people now have to be more scrutinized (just as we all do at the airport) because of the few offenders.

 

So you're saying it's pointless security theater? I agree perfectly!

 

The difference is that no matter how long the silly wait is at the airport, you probably won't die of it. Meanwhile, refugees are dying every day due to lack of legal options.

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On a side note, if anyone knows of options to work with helping refugees settle, please post links because it's one thing I've been toying with as I've been contemplating what I want to be when I grow up - esp now that I'm not working at school.

 

 

Hi Creekland, 

 

I work with the refugee community near where I live.  About this time last year, I got fed up with the hateful and extreme things I was hearing from "friends" and decided to get some firsthand information for myself.  I called a friend who grew up in Sierra Leone, married a man from SL, and lives in the states and runs a non-profit ministry to women in SL who have disabilities either from birth or war.  I asked her how I could find out the TRUTH about refugees and she invited me to a meeting where I met several refugee women as well as Americans who run non-profits which serve their community.  I did not even KNOW that refugees were resettled local to me!  I began helping in an after-school tutoring program for refugee children last spring, taught English to adults all summer and I am now the ESOL Coordinator for a local non-profit and continue my involvement with adult English classes and after-school tutoring.  

 

Check to see if your city is a resettlement city.  You can check World Relief's website.  If your city is not listed there, another city in your state might be.  If that is the case, there is still the possibility that there could be a community near you because once people get on their feet, they can move to other locations.  You can also check the UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees site or Facebook page.  You might find information there.  Catholic Charities has been involved in resettlement in different areas of the country.  Another option, which requires more commitment, is to consider sponsoring a family. 

 

I had a hard time reading through this thread.  I am a Christian.  Our students are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist...and I do not think of ANYONE according to that.  They are ALL precious people and I pray for EACH person's safety due to the climate of fear and hatred in this country.  I would give my life for ANY of my students or their children.  Some of the comments made here are just shameful!  There are Syrian families arriving presently.  I have not had any enroll in our program yet but we do have students from Yemen, Bhutan, Iraq, Eritrea, Dhbouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Burundi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Somalia and we have a handful of students from Mexico who fled to the US from a local government corrupted by drug warlords.  We serve them all equally.  

 

Things I have learned:

-The vetting process is tight.  Of course, there is always room for improvement, but quite honestly MANY of our students sat in refugee camps for 15-18 years.  FIFTEEN TO EIGHTEEN YEARS!!  We have children who have never known anything else.  I will tell you that we need to fear kids wasting away in camps more than bringing their families here.  The parents all voice that is their greatest fear because the extremists seek out young children and young adults who have come to the point of having no hope for anyone to CARE. The minimum is two years.  I can't even think of ONE student who had such a luxury.  I think the least amount of time is five.

-Upon arrival, they are given three outfits of clothing for the season in which they arrive. They are taken to an apartment furnished with donations.  Their children are put into school at AGE level, NOT skill level.  Remember, some of these kids have never been to school, ever.  Some have. There are lots of variables.  They have three months to get settled, find a job, and begin learning English.  In the fourth month, they must begin to repay the US for the expense to bring them here.  Yes, that's right.  Contrary to all the things that are spewed, they do not get a free ride. They have a certain amount of time with financial assistance before they transition to having to pay ALL their own bills and expenses.

-All refugees are immigrants.  All immigrants are NOT refugees.  People here on VISAs are NOT refugees.  This is important.  People who wish to do harm have MUCH easier paths into this country AND they have the money to take them.  Refugees have nothing.  EVERYTHING is lost.  EVERYTHING is left behind.  They have no home to return to.  ALL of them have fled for safety.  They did not WANT to leave their home.  They had no choice.  

-All refugees have PTSD.  All refugees are stronger and more resilient than any American ever could be.  Their personal stories are worse than any nightmare I could EVER have.  One lady fled from border to border with her husband and children.  They reached one border and guerrilla soldiers pulled all the men and older boys out, tied them to trees and lit the grass on fire around them.  The women and children fled on foot as their men were burned alive.  THEY STILL HAD TO FLEE FOR THEIR LIVES!  The women tell of being raped in the camps.  I could go on.  

-They want to learn English.  For many, it's their third, fourth, sometimes fifth language.  PTSD affects your ability to learn and the rate at which you acquire language.  I have a few ladies that I do not think will ever move beyond pre-literacy. They have endured so much.  They are here as widows with children.  Yes, they are on welfare.  It barely makes ends meet.  I have other very educated and articulate students who were professionals in their country of origin but are working in factories or cleaning motel rooms because they do not have enough English to become certified and licensed here in the states.  

-They can take English classes, but if Americans do not befriend them and spend time with them and help them practice their English, then language proficiency is slow to come.

-These are people from honor/shame societies.  They are not interested in staying on welfare or mooching off anyone.  They were not raised like Americans, to look out for themselves and their own individual rights.  They were raised to look out for their whole family, to care for their extended family as well as their immediate families.  They WANT to get on their own feet and make a living so they can sponsor their loved ones who are left behind.

 

I have to say that I am not the same woman I was this time last year.  I am a better person.  I have been changed forever by these dear, dear people.  I watch people who have NOTHING give more than people I know who have ridiculously too much.  I see people giving and helping people that they have nothing culturally in common with, but they share the badge of suffering and that is a bond beyond any other.  We kid ourselves if we say we cannot help these people AND our vets AND our homeless AND our poor.  We just have to think differently.  We have to quit wasting money.  We can give our time, our attention, our friendship.  I have seen grown men weep when I say "Come to class.  You are welcome here.  You belong here."  

 

I hope this has helped. I have only posted to give a voice to those I care for who have no voice. 

Edited by KnitWit
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I live in Los Angeles, which is sometimes wryly called the Capital of the Third World. We are a polyglot community, and I feel very comfortable with refugees of any background being resettled in my area. Anybody who wants to try is welcome to battle our freeways and our school system and our housing shortage and may the odds be ever in their favor.

Edited by kubiac
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