Refugee numbers on the rise in Frederick, MD

For most of our readers, this won’t be of much interest, but it is to us because Frederick, MD is in the county just east of where we live.   This story indicates to me that Frederick County will soon be a major resettlement site in western Maryland.  The volags (voluntary agencies contracted by the federal government) are likely getting ready to “welcome” more family reunification cases. 

I had to laugh, the AP story in the Washington Times makes it sound like refugees find cities like Frederick on their own.

Refugees from Myanmar are settling in the Frederick area, where community groups are helping them find work and providing other services.

“Services” are needed as more refugees are placed in Frederick.

Mr. Thang (interviewed for the story) was among dozens of refugees, asylum-seekers and local service-providers at a recent open house at the downtown Frederick offices of LIFE & Discovery, an educational corporation.

It was the start of collaboration among LIFE & Discovery, Lutheran Social Services, the International Rescue Committee and Frederick County Public Schools. The goal is to offer services for the area’s increasing number of refugees from Myanmar, a Southeast Asia country under military rule. It was formerly known as Burma.

The word about Frederick is spreading, not just among the Burmese in camps in Thailand, but  in Africa too!  Can you believe it!     Of course that isn’t happening, they are brought to Frederick by the very same groups that are setting up offices to provide “services.”

Many immigrants come to Frederick from Africa.

Chan Thui, an employment advocate with Lutheran Social Services, will be working Mondays with refugees. The agency estimates 400 to 1,000 Myanmar people live in the Frederick area.

The biggest challenges are learning the language and finding work, he said.

Wow, that is a lot of refugees for a city the size of Frederick. I wonder where they are going to work, especially since the city has a fairly sizeable illegal alien population as well.

As I said in a previous post, (April 2008) about Frederick, the county really needs to be sure their health department is prepared and they might want to check with Allen County (Ft. Wayne) Indiana to see what challenges that county is facing with a Burmese population of about 5000.

Here is the Frederick News Post version of the same story with the extra added benefit of provacative comments.

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