Despite resettlement plans to bring 100 Syrian refugees to Rutland, Vermont this year, only 14 have arrived, due to ups and down associated with the travel ban and proposed changes to refugee policy since January. Despite this, USCRI Vermont has applied to the US State Department to resettle 100 more Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Rutland in fiscal year 2018.
Saba Berhane, Director of Programs at USCRI, says they hope to continue their work in Rutland and resettle more families. But “all of that will depend on the presidential determination… At this point we’re just crossing our fingers and waiting to see what that number might be.”
It is the presidential determination that will make more concrete any possible projections for Rutland and other resettlement across the country.
“There are indications from the budget that President Trump has put forward that no more than 50,000 refugees could be supported by the numbers in that budget. However, there have been rumors that some in the White house are advocating that the number for 2018 be set much lower,” says Kathleen Newland, co-founder and a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, “Even as low as 15,000.”
Regardless of these number, volunteers are working hard to make Vermont feel like home.