Sunday, January 4, 2015

State Department does have a big program to house asylees from strife-torn countries


The Washington Post has a big story in the Metro section Sunday January 4, 2015, “Still unsettled, but settling in”, by Julie Zauzmer, link here, to explain a State Department program that settles about 70000 families a year, when these families and individuals pass background checks and can prove they are at risk.  The specific story concerned a family from Syria (with husband targeted by Assad) now settling in to a furnished apartment in Alexandria, VA.  The State Department works with various charities (like Catholic Charities in this case) to assist the families and normally provides a three-month stipend, but the families have to find work,

It would appear from this story that the families are not housed with other people except existing relatives, if already in the US.  There are not reports in the article of recruiting “sponsors” although that has been done in the past (as with Cuban refugees in 1980).  But the whole issue could rapidly become important for gay people seeking asylum from some countries (especially Russia, Nigeria, Uganda, and various other African or Muslim countries). 


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