Roanoke, VA refugee director to retire

Roanoke, VA is the largest refugee resettlement site in that state, partially thanks to the ‘Dragon Lady’ director of Refugee and Immigration Services,  Barbara Smith who will soon retire.    For financial reasons, according to the Roanoke Times , Refugee and Immigration Services will soon merge with Catholic Charities.   I’m bringing you this information and this article simply because it’s a good behind-the-scenes look at what happens in a “blue heaven” refugee resettlement office and it likely parallels what is happening in your city.

One bit of information here that most people don’t know is that it’s up to local government agencies to foot the bill for translators when refugees require services.

So it goes [Smith will get tough] when a federally funded agency or institution fails to provide a translator for an immigrant. That violates the nondiscrimination clause in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Smith can recite it from memory — curtly, if necessary — on her refugees’ behalf.

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