Iraqis “find haven” in Boise

See what did I tell you!  This is the second story today where refugees “find haven”, this one is in Idaho and the other was in Florida.   I might have lost count, but Boise, ID must be city number four in our quest to discover nine “Iraqi recieving areas” in the US.   Way back in July we reported that Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) said there were nine cities expected to recieve Iraqi refugees in the coming year. 

So, on our Iraqi refugee hit parade we have identified five so far:   Harrisonburg, VA, Warren, MI, Denver, CO, Boise, ID, and according to this article, Spokane, WA.   The U.S. State Dept. goal is to resettle 12,000 Iraqis during FY 2008.    That should be about 1,300 Iraqis per each of nine sites. 

Unlike Hagerstown, MD,  Boise is welcoming.

Boise has become something of a magnet for refugees, in part because it has three active refugee resettlement agencies, a relatively low cost of living, lots of job opportunities and a welcoming community. Since 1980, 12,000 refugees have been resettled in Idaho, mostly in Boise. They’ve come from around the world, with large groups arriving in recent years from Bosnia, Uzbekistan and Somalia. Just in the past year, Boise has received 800 refugees from 20 countries.

Bosnia, Uzbekistan and Somalia, gee the Mosque building industry must be booming in Boise.

Burmese “find haven” in Florida

I wonder about these daily “find haven” articles.   Is there some sort of template reporters follow when writing refugee resettlement stories?    The stories always start with a heartbreaking tale and as you read down there are little hints that not everything is peachy, but the reporter can’t quite bring him or herself to say it.   Almost every story ends with a plea for volunteers, so you know the resettlement agency is struggling even when the community is “welcoming”.

One of two “find haven” stories today is from Florida and involves the Burmese refugees.  

Nearly 14,000 Myanmar refugees have found their way to the U.S.during the past year, according to figures from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Close to 500 of them came to Florida.

O.K.  I know there are Buddhist monks dying as they face-off with the brutal military regime that runs Myanmar, but here is what I really want to know.   Why are we scooping up all the pro-democracy advocates who should be standing side by side with the brave monks and instead bringing them to America to wash dishes?

The majority of Myanmar refugees who have made it to Central Florida are single men like Thang.


Thang places his right hand on his chest when speaking of his homeland. He misses his life as a corn and wheat farmer….. he works as a kitchen helper at a hotel near International Drive.

If anyone has the answer, a real policy answer not some mushy answer, please tell me.