resettlement

Resettlement: A Refugee's Long Journey to a New Home

[et_pb_section background_image="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Somali-refugees-in-Ethiopia-UNICEF-Ethiopia.jpg" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_divider color="#ffffff" height="200" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#f7f7f4" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="0px||2px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="10em" text_text_color="#323232" text_line_height="1.1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="0px||0px|" disabled="off"]16[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" custom_css_main_element="width:20px;" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="18" text_text_color="#363636" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="-10px||0px|" disabled="off"]FEBRUARY, 2017[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_text_color="#02b875" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px|||" disabled="off"]Refugee CampsResettlementSociety[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="24" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.4em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="10px||0px|" disabled="off"]Nimo Hashi nervously adjusted her hijab as she scanned the passengers arriving at the Salt Lake International Airport terminal last Friday, hoping to catch sight of her husband in the crowd. Her two-year old daughter, Taslim, dressed for the occasion in a blue jumper with large white polka dots, shifted back and forth in her white shoes, looking back occasionally at her mother’s anxious face.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]When Abdisellam Hassen Ahmed emerged from customs, Hashi, flowers in one hand and Taslim in the other, walked over to her husband, and the family quietly embraced. Ahmed planted an enthusiastic kiss on Hashi’s cheek and beamed as he hoisted his daughter into his arms for the first time, touching her face in wonder. Taslim looked a bit puzzled, not surprising since she’d never met her father. But at that moment, everything else faded into the background — the years of waiting, the unexpected delay, the fear that Ahmed wouldn’t be able to enter the country at all. What mattered now was that their family was finally together.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="5px|||" custom_padding_tablet="17px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Somali-Refugees-in-Dolo-Ado-Ethiopia-UNICEF-Ethiopia.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="on" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="16" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px||0px|" disabled="off"]Many Somalis spend their childhoods in refugee camps.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="6px|||" disabled="off"]Photo credit: UNICEF-Ethiopia[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="0px||8px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]

Somalia: A Country in Crisis

A 30-year civil war in Somalia, punctuated by famine, drought, and numberless civilian deaths at the hands of armed militias, has left generations of Somali refugees either born or living in exile. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 1 million Somalis have fled to surrounding countries, primarily Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen. Another 1.1 million more are displaced in camps within Somalia.Refugee camps are meant to be temporary, but many Somali refugees have lived in these camps for decades. The Kenyan government is in the process of closing Dadaab, the country’s largest refugee camp, plunging many of these refugees into despair over an uncertain future.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="9px||9px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" max_width="900px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="48" text_font_size_tablet="38" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.3em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="16px||30px|" disabled="off"]

"Refugee camps are meant to be temporary, but many Somali refugees have lived in these camps for decades."

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="17px||9px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]Ahmed’s story is fairly typical. Now 29, he has lived in refugee camps since he was three. He and Hashi met in an Ethiopian refugee camp after fleeing Somalia to escape the horrors of the country’s long-running civil war. Hashi had already applied for refugee resettlement to the United States when they met and was waiting to hear back about her application status. When she was accepted in 2014, she was married and pregnant with Taslim. She and Ahmed decided it was best for her to go to America without him while they waited for his application to make its way through the vetting process.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" custom_padding="7px|||" custom_padding_tablet="30px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Somali-family-Ethiopia-UNICEF-Ethiopia.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="17px||0px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="infographic" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]refugee-admission-to-USA[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="140px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="6px|||" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]

The Refugee Resettlement Process

The U.N. estimates that approximately 26,000 Somali refugees are currently working through the resettlement process to move to the U.S., a process that can take anywhere from 18 months to three years. While some Americans are ready to welcome these refugees with open arms, others are more cautious. Some are even skeptical that the vetting process can prevent terrorists from landing on U.S. soil. Many people do not understand how incredibly difficult it is for refugees to apply for asylum, much less make it through the arduous resettlement processFor starters, less than one percent -- ONE PERCENT--- of all refugees are referred by the UNHCR for resettlement, and only a small portion of that one percent is referred for resettlement in the United States.The vetting process includes numerous steps, cross-checks, and safeguards. Let’s take a look at the resettlement process, the strictest form of security screening for any traveler to the U.S., with its series of extensive background, security, and health checks.1. Refugee StatusAn individual or family must apply for refugee status with the UNHCR. The U.N. collects identifying documents, biographical information. and biometric data such as iris scans or fingerprints. Applicants undergo an in-depth interview to determine whether they qualify as refugees and are strong candidates for resettlement.2. Referral to the United StatesIf the applicant meets the criteria for resettlement in the U.S., he or she goes to a Resettlement Support Center (RSC). An international resettlement agency or nonprofit contracted by the State Department conducts further interviews, compiles additional background information, and assembles data required by U.S. security agencies for further screening.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="3px|0px|38.84375px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

3. Security Clearance

The security screening process includes a comprehensive investigation into the applicant’s travel history, affiliations, criminal history, cellphone usage, and social media activity. Applicants from countries with higher terrorist activity, such as Syria or Iraq, are subject to increased scrutiny. Up to six government agencies are involved in the security clearance process, including the Department of Homeland Security, State Department, FBI, United States Intelligence Community, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Defense.

4. In-person Interview

Applicants are interviewed by specially trained personnel from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), photographed, and fingerprinted. Their biometric data are cross-checked against several government databases, including the FBI, DHS, and Defense Department databases, to ensure they aren’t on the terrorist watch list or have committed a crime.

5. DHS Approval and Medical Screening

If the applicant is cleared by DHS, he or she must undergo a medical exam to ensure he or she is strong enough to travel and treated/free from any diseases that could threaten public health.

6. Matching with a Sponsor Agency

The applicant is matched with one of nine national resettlement agencies, who then assign the refugee to a resettlement site with a local affiliate. Catholic Community Services and the International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake are the main resettlement organizations for refugees arriving in Utah. Organizations like Women of the World provide ongoing support to refugees when resettlement services from these local affiliates end.

7. Cultural Orientation

Incoming refugees attend cultural orientation classes to help them adjust to life in the United States. Classes provide refugees with basic information and skills to help ease the transition to their new home.

8. Second Security Clearance

The International Organization for Migration issues the necessary permits and books travel. The applicant is still subject to additional security clearances/checks until departure for the U.S. to ensure the clearance is still valid.

9. Airport Check

Prior to entry to the U.S., applicants are subject to additional screening from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center and the Transportation Security Administration’s Secure Flight Program to confirm the refugee’s identity as the person screened and approved.

10. Admission to the United States

Local resettlement-agency affiliates help refugees settle into their new home and provide initial services such as housing, furnishings, food, and clothing for up to 90 days. They also offer assistance with employment, English-language instruction, and job training. Refugees are expected to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible, no small feat considering the hardships they’ve endured over many years.

A New Life in Salt Lake

Ahmed and Hashi know how fortunate they are, even with the struggles that still lie ahead. Ahmed will need to find a job, learn English, get acquainted with his little girl, and become familiar with the rhythms of life in this new land. But for now, sitting on the couch in his apartment with Taslim and Hashi, he has all he needs.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#222222" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" custom_padding="0px||7px|" padding_mobile="on" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" custom_padding="40px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-1.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/celebration-refugee-womens-success/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="on" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]SUCCESS STORIES[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Celebration of Refugee Women's Success[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Cosette-900x900.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/burundi-utah-cosettes-story/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]PODCAST STORIES[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Latest Podcast[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-4.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/modeling-our-world-2017-fashion-show-fundraiser/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]TRAVEL[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Fashion Show[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Is it reasonable to resettle refugees in America?

The Syrian refugee crisis coinciding with America’s Presidential Campaigns has brought the emotional debate over refugees into the political arenas of nearly every state and over the internet. Candidates and conservative journalists have placed fear of terrorism and radicalization in front of voters while liberals in this country and abroad use compassion and sympathy in an attempt to play the heartstrings of ordinarily big-hearted Americans. While Women of the World obviously believes in our capacity to serve refugees and ensure their benefit to society and has few barriers to the amazing stories of survival of our new refugee neighbors, we want to win both hearts and minds, to show that it is reasonable to resettle refugees in America.One of the first forays into understanding if it is reasonable to resettle refugees in America was Intelligence Squared’s debate on the subject of Should the US let in 100,000 Syrian Refugees? Intelligence Squared Debates are Oxford-style debates where two debaters argue for the motion and two debaters argue against the motion. In this case, Robert Ford (Sr. Fellow, Middle East Inst. & Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Syria) and David Miliband (President & CEO, International Rescue Committee & Fmr. U.K. Foreign Secretary) argued for the motion while David Frum (Senior Editor, The Atlantic) and Jessica Vaughan (Dir. of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies) argued against.While there were still a great number of appeals to emotion in this debate, the team for the motion, especially David Miliband took on the difficult side of his argument, that it was reasonable to resettle refugees in America. He argued that "it’s right thing to do, that it's a practical thing to do, and that it's a smart thing to do."

The Economic Benefits of Refugee Resettlement

It is the right thing to do, not only morally, but because of the benefit that refugees have brought to our country. Rationally it is unfair to cherry pick the few violent or the entrepreneurial geniuses in either the first or second generation but instead understand the trends of refugee resettlement in the bulk of the distribution. That analysis in a 2012 Cleveland, Ohio study of resettled refugees showed a 10-fold economic benefit above the cost of refugee services and a similar study in 2014 in Denmark also yielded positive economic benefit. Only Jordan netted an economic detriment from the local refugee camp structure where instead of putting individuals to work in local communities (by the numbers an impossible task), infrastructure like water was overwhelmed by large numerical increases. Women of the World is working on an innovative way to track these hard numbers for resettled refugees in Utah, a state where low unemployment makes job advancement even more difficult for workers with fewer native skills.

Efficient and Effective Refugee Service

Women of the World and other service providers are accountable to the second part of Mr. Miliband’s argument, that it is practical to take in refugees. Communities across America have organizations across the public, private, non-profit, and religious spectrum that give refuge to the disenfranchised and poor. If there is a homelessness issue or high unemployment, a community will not be burdened beyond its means. In Utah, organizations like Mr. Miliband’s IRC and the Catholic Community Service resettle refugees, organizations like Women of the World and numerous LDS institutions help to take care of basic needs, employment, and service in transition from resettlement to active citizenship. Organizations like the Utah Health and Human Rights further serve needs like PTSD therapy and the Maliheh Clinic serves basic physiological health issues.Like all activities in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, refugee service must perform its business processes both efficiently and effectively, that is it must meet budgets and schedules (efficient) and achieve outcomes (effective). Successful non-profits produce results with the lowest possible overhead and have diverse funding sources to ensure continued success in challenging political or economic times. As the below quoted stat from Mr. Miliband shows, refugee service is certainly efficient...

The direct federal cost of services and benefits associated with resettling 100,000 refugees in this country — let me tell you what it is. It's 1.4 cents per American per day. That's the direct federal cost of services and benefits. It's true that that doesn't include health care costs or school costs. But nor does it include the taxes that Syrians pay when they work.

Hearts and Minds

Finally, Mr. Miliband argues that it is reasonable to resettle refugees in America because it the smart thing to do, a strategic globalization ploy to eliminate ISIS marketing that theirs is a campaign for Muslims against the anti-Muslim west. Accepting refugees begins to win the hearts and minds counterinsurgency campaign. This is a long-term play that, like building schools for girls in the Muslim world, will not make large gains in the near term, but is likely the only way to secure the peace.While I feel this was a well-argued and ultimately successful debate on the side of both reason and emotion for the pro refugee resettlement team, it was not the best performance by the against side. The appeal to fear was far too great and their strongest argument, that refugee assistance is hyper-local and what works for Salt Lake City or Cleveland may not work for Atlanta or Phoenix was debated but the figures that were given, Foodstamp assistance, was well-parried in the rebuttal round that showed that self-reliance was improving through time, a similar result to what Women of the World has seen.reasonable to resettle refugees in AmericaArguing both the hearts and minds of this argument does not yield a clear victory. As the online poll and comments show a decided objection to resettling refugees in America. The opponents largely will forego the economic and counterinsurgency positive outcome effectiveness delivered efficiently in time and cost for a greater sense of security.The world is being terrorized and fear and a desire for security are legitimate emotions or reactions. Our allies and the United States are taking military and diplomatic actions to address threats. The conversation that America needs to be having is where do we legitimately draw the line where our collective fear is going to cause us to act or not act, across all of the military, diplomatic, and humanitarian issues. Are the potential benefits and ethical upsides of humanitarian action reasonable to expect and worth it against the threat of the potential security losses? I am interested in having this conversation and believe that Americans are good neighbors, courageous, and in possession of the greatest ideal a country has ever been built upon. This is our American exceptionalism and the wellspring that will make America continue to be great.