A Friendship Challenge: Refugees in America

“Wealth adds many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend.” Proverbs 19:4

The Refugee

Refugees: To be eligible for refugee or asylum status, an applicant must meet the definition of a refugee set forth in 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

There were15.4 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2009.

Roughly 73,000 were granted admission to the United States in 2010.

About 3,400 came to Georgia.

For many of them, Clarkston is their home.

When refugees arrive, they are assisted by a resettlement agency.

Resettlement Agency: This term describes the nine U.S. non-profit agencies and one state agency that currently have cooperative agreements with the Department of State to provide reception and placement services to newly arrived refugees in the United States. Such agencies receive funding for their headquarters’ operating expenses and for per capita grants to assist with providing required initial reception and placement services for every refugee. The Bureau enters into agreements with such agencies annually, based on a proposal submission and review process.

Arriving refugees receive 3 months of assistance ($900 per person) through that resettlement agency, as well as help with job placement, medical services, educational services, etc.  After three months’ time, they have limited access to other assistance programs that are based on various qualifying factors.

Questions:

What difference would it make to a refugee to have an American friend?

What difference would it make to you to have a refugee friend?

 

Learn More about Refugees: 

www.state.gov/g/prm/index.htm State Department

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr   Office of Refugee Resettlement

www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_rfa_fr_2010.pdf  Dept. of Homeland Security

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