“When Za Siang Tial left her village in Southeast Asian country of Myanmar in 2008, she did not know what awaited her…”
Nine years later, Tial has resettled to Iowa and lives near other family members. She was arrested in Malaysia for being a refugee, endured years of intense security screening, and often wondered if she would ever see her children again.
Director of USCRI Des Moines, Carly Ross, describes the initial steps of the resettlement process. “They will go and register with the United Nations and then if they are approved for refugee status, that sort of triggers many other steps before they would actually be approved for resettlement.”
“After that point, they have to clear all the security processes including in-person interviews, biometrics, intra-agencies security clearances, medical screening before they would actually board that plane,” Ross said. “We have to remember that less than one half of one percent of all the refugees in the world get approved for resettlement (in the U.S.) so it’s a small number.”
Photo Credit © Liora Engel-Smith, Muscatine Journal