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At the recent meeting with Kim Snoddy of RefugeeOne, we received the following key news:
- Under the Obama administration, 120,000 refugees were to be admitted to the US during the current budget year. That ends September 30, 2017.
- Right after the election all refugee resettlement agencies feared a cut and rushed as many refugees in as they possibly could.
- Their fears were well founded: the Trump administration cut the number to 50,000!
- By now, 36,000 have come into the country. That means only 14,000 more will be admitted (if even that many!) in the next 7 months, throughout the US.
- Thus it is unlikely that Chicago will get more than 10 families in that time; indeed, there might not be any. But if some do come we will be fourth in line to receive and support a newly arriving family.
- Meanwhile, we have the chance to help a family already here, and we said we would welcome doing that. Kim will provide three family descriptions and we can choose one to help.
- The help needed is once-a-week mentoring, social visits, tutoring children, practice speaking English, and taking the family to places of service and enjoyment (library, shopping, zoo, museum, etc.)
- The larger picture: Small refugee sponsorship agencies have already shut down. Large ones are cutting staff. They are most concerned about keeping the overseas operations going: In the refugee camps they help people apply for asylum anywhere, get orientations for going to the countries that may accept them, and do everything they need to actually make a move. If they have to lay off those staff persons it becomes very difficult to put all the processes back into place with new staff who have to be trained, new office supports, etc. whenever new funds are approved.
- Kim appealed to anyone who can help, to make donations to RefugeeOne in order to keep their overseas operations going. It’s easy: Google RefugeeOne and donate online.
If you can volunteer to help with visits to a refugee family, please contact Linda: linda [at] libertyprairie [dot] org or Karen: kymfamily [at] comcast [dot] net
The detailed minutes – worth reading! – of the February 13 meeting with Kim are on our Lake County Resettlement Group website: https://sites.google.com/site/nsmcrefugeeproject/home
That is also the place to make a donation online to our own project.