Last month, USCRI Detroit’s Director, Tawfik Alazem, invited Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Reginal Manager Terry Campbell and the Senator’s Constituent Services Representative Ana Wolken to visit USCRI Detroit. There, they met with refugees as well as agency resettlement and employment staff. The meeting was a great opportunity for the Senator’s team to hear directly from refugees about their successful resettlement experience and the new exciting life they’ve started in the Detroit community. Each refugee spoke about their high hopes to reunite with their loved ones who are still waiting to be approved to come to the U.S.
During this visit, the Detroit Director provided an update to the Senator’s team on the very low refugee arrivals that resettlement agencies are experiencing on both a state and nationwide level in FY 2018 and urged Senator Stabenow to put more pressure on the administration in terms of ensuring it upholds its commitment to meeting the Presidential Determination for FY 2018 of 45,000 entrants.
This discussion comes after the Trump Administration’s decision to issue policy changes that directly reduce the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States per year.
This year, the USCRI Detroit office is expecting 419 refugees to arrive in 2018. The office offers many programs to the local community including the Reception and Placement programming as well as Matching Grant. (You can learn more about USCRI programs here.)
The meeting with the senator’s staff represents an exchange of communication between local constituents and their representatives in government, as well as USCRI’s commitment to advocacy. It was an opportunity to share first-hand accounts of the journey to the United States as well as new life in this country for USCRI clients. It also stood as an occasion for concerns to be raised as, while the refugees’ and immigrants’ experiences are unique to each individual, its impacts can be felt throughout the community.