IRC in the News
The possibility that at least one of the suicide bombers in Paris came into France as a refugee has prompted a backlash against refugees. Many U.S. governors now say they oppose allowing Syrian refugees to settle in their states, and Republicans in Congress are moving to pause President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrians to the U.S. in the next two years.
Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson hears an argument from the other side of this debate: David Miliband is the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, an organization that works to advocate for refugees. Miliband shares his response to the wave of opposition to resettling Syrian refugees.
"Refugees coming in from Syria, they have gone through three separate security checks. They have gone through an in-person lengthy interview by highly qualified staff from the Department of Homeland Security. All of these things before they're even granted the ability to enter the U.S.," said IRC Executive Director Harriet Kuhr.
It arose from images depicting the brutality of the refugee crisis.
About 10 mothers sat in Mary Poole's living room and expressed their concern and horror at the photographs of children washed ashore.
Certainly, Missoula can welcome 10 refugee families into our community, they thought. That was in September.
Two months later, the group has broadened its goals, turning a lofty ideal into a more specific mission. Soft Landing Missoula, as it's now called, wants to bring a resettlement agency here and open the city up to the world.
"Syrians aren't the only refugees – you have to be open to anyone," Poole said. "Everyone agreed that a person in need is a person in need."
It’s been five days since the terrorist attacks in Paris. Since then, governors from more than half of the states have said ‘our nation needs to focus on security’, and opted not to accept Syrian refugees.
However, U.S. refugees undergo multiple layers of security checks, making them the most vetted group of people who come to our nation.
“These refugees are actually running away from the very people who committed these attacks in Paris,” said Sandrine Lisk, Managing Attorney Immigration Law Office in Wichita.
The 30-year-old Center for Victims of Torture in St. Paul is bringing its work to Atlanta with a generous federal grant.
In a new partnership with the International Rescue Committee, the center will provide mental health services to new arrivals, including many refugees from war-torn Iraq and Congo as well as ethnic Karen from Myanmar.
While a lot of the roughly 260 survivors of torture served in the Twin Cities last year found their way to the center after years in the United States, the new project will engage refugees at a prime time — as they begin their transition to life in America.
“Atlanta provides the perfect laboratory for this new kind of partnership,” said Ruth Barrett-Rendler, the center’s deputy director. “Here in St. Paul, we can only help a drop in the bucket of individuals in need of our services.”