Roger Pedactor

Some Perspective on the Refugee "Crisis"

(Thanks for this commentary by someone who has been working with Burmese refugees in Iowa for some time. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

He was Aylan Kurdi, a 3 year old boy with endless possibilities. Aylan was a baby boy before he was a refugee, and he could've been the next Norman Borlaug - not the next burden of the State. I say "refugee" because that's the easiest word to use... Let's not forget that they are people who need help who also happen to be refugees, not refugees who just so happen to be people.

I posted earlier about the refugee crisis here in Iowa. Obviously, the international spotlight has shifted towards refugees in Syria, in large part due to the lifeless 3 year old body of Aylan Kurdi, who tragically drowned during the dangerous journey towards a better life.

I was wrong to call the refugee situation in Iowa and around the world a "crisis," but here's why: A 'crisis' implies a sense of suddenness of a given situation. That is not the case. Syria has been falling apart for years, and the same goes for the dozens of other countries around the world where refugees languish in dangerous, understaffed, and undersupplied camps for well over a decade before they are resettled to a more peaceful, secure country.  

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Iowa's Current Refugee Crisis

(Background and details on how "community navigators" serve refugee communities. Unfortunately, last month Governor Terry Branstad vetoed state funding for this kind of pilot program in Polk County.   - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Refugees from Burma (Myanmar) spend an average of 10-15 years in a refugee camp before coming to America. They get 3 days head's up before coming to the United States. They take out a government loan of several thousand dollars that they must pay back just to get here. They are then assigned a caseworker from a resettlement agency. This agency and the refugee(s) have 90 days to learn a completely new language and culture, understand school systems, public transportation, healthcare - everything from Winter clothing to brushing their teeth. After 90 days, the federal government stops supporting the refugees all together. The resettlement agency, due to overwhelming demand, must be off to assist the next incoming family. So who takes over?

People like me.

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