The Weekly Round-Up
The Weekly Round-Up
March 19, 2018
This week, we take a look at the rate of admission for refugees to the United States, which has sharply reduced over the last several months, especially amongst 11 majority Muslim countries highlighted by President Trump. We also feature a Virginia teacher who is helping bridge the gap between government aid and self-sufficiency and a university that is using technology to educate refugees in camps all over the world.
The US has admitted 5,000 refugees in the first quarter of 2018, a far cry from the levels of past years. President Trump set a maximum level at 45,000 this year, but if the current rate continues, the total will be far below that. Bhutan, a small Asian country of less than 1 million people, has accounted for nearly 30 percent of the refugee admissions in the last fiscal year.
Even though the so-called “Muslim ban” has been lifted for 11 majority Muslim countries, only 53 individuals were admitted in January and February from those countries, according to the U.S. Refugee Processing Center. Resettlement workers have been interrupted as well, causing a backlog of follow-to-join cases, which reunite families that have been separated through the resettlement process.
Refugees have 90 days after they arrive before the end of their resettlement financial support from the government. A teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia started a nonprofit called International Neighbors to help provide for refugees after that 90-day period ends. She helps refugees fill out medical paperwork, purchase vehicles and even get driving lessons.
Southern New Hampshire University developed a program to help refugees all over the world obtain bachelor’s degrees in their refugee camps. Utilizing technology and project-based curriculum, they are helping to provide a bridge out of poverty for the world’s most disadvantaged learners. The pilot program is in a Rwandan refugee camp where students are being equipped 21st century skills.