When you listen to the stories of what refugees have had to endure, your perspective is fundamentally changed. One of my friends walked for days through the Congo with 5 children in tow, trying to get them to safety. She walked past many dying and dead on the road who hadn’t been able to make it. Another friend was kicked out of her house and beaten by government spies when she refused to tell the whereabouts of her husband who was wanted for daring to oppose the government’s brutal regime. A third cried as she told me of her husband arriving home from the combat zone with bandages and burns all over him. She begged him not to return, but he was committed to helping the US troops in their country and so left by cover of darkness a few hours later.
Each of these women have desperately needed refuge. And they’ve received it through the US Refugee Resettlement program. But there are so many more like them. Our country can only help a small percentage, but it’s important that we do what we can. We need to encourage our government leaders to fulfill their commitment to resettle 45,000 refugees this year, already the lowest number in years. We’re halfway through the fiscal year, and only a little over 10,000 have been admitted.
But if it’s not enough to give refuge to the suffering for moral reasons, then there’s this to consider. The impact refugees have on our communities bring long-term positives! There are many warehouses and factories that you benefit from, but never think about. You probably don’t realize how tough the working conditions are these locations and how many of their employees are refugees and immigrants who are willing to endure the long hours and strenuous labor for very low wages.
These are the people that prep your chicken in the factories, tag your clothes in the warehouse, assemble and pack for places like Black & Decker and BIC and Lays. They love our country, they help bad neighborhoods become safe, they improve low performing schools and open new businesses that increase our cities’ tax revenue. These precious people are an important part of the fabric of our country. They truly help make America great. #whereRtheRefugees
To read more about what’s going on with refugee admissions in the US and why it’s slowed down so dramatically, head to the Indypendent’s look at the dismantling of the refugee admissions program, as well as this article from US News on how the current admissions policies are causing uncertainty and fear.