Last week, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Salt Lake City hosted a Legislative Briefing on Utah’s participation in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), in partnership with Catholic Community Services, the Utah Refugee Services Office, and sponsored by Senator Daniel Thatcher.
Utah’s broad support for refugee resettlement was reflected by the attendance and enthusiastic support of legislators from both sides of the aisle, including Representative Dan Johnson. Representative Johnson is sponsoring legislation that supports refugee students in Utah public schools. He remarked, “I’m grateful we have the opportunity to get to know different people, to understand their culture, to blend them together. I’m grateful that the United States allows that to happen.”
Several legislators shared personal experiences with members of Utah’s refugee communities. Amira Kherrallah, Miss Central African Republic of Utah 2020 and a former refugee, shared what she wished legislators knew about refugees:
“It is not easy to leave where you are from and to leave everything, to lose everything, and to start a new life. Refugees are really talented people. They are just looking for a safe place to start a new life and realize their dreams. They are full of skills. What they want, for me, is an opportunity to show what they are able to do and contribute to the Country’s development and impact the community.”
Learn how you can support policies that impact refugee communities by visiting Rescue.org/TakeAction.