This is your standard refugee news story, but I’m posting it so I have some statistics for our home state of Maryland. And, because we rarely hear any refugee news from Maryland!
From Southern Maryland OnLine:
Although Iraqis make up only 2.5 percent of refugees and asylum-seekers in Maryland, in the past decade, Iraqi refugee resettlement in Maryland has gone from almost non-existent to leading other countries in the number of refugees entering the state.
From 2000 to 2007, there was an average of 19 new Iraqi refugees a year resettling in Maryland — .15 percent of all new arrivals in that time period.
In 2007, 1.9 percent of new Maryland refugees and asylees were Iraqi. By 2009, Iraqis made up one in six new refugees, or 16.8 percent, the largest group of new refugees from 45 countries, according to a database maintained by the Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees.
From 1990 to 2006, more than 33,000 Iraqis were resettled across the nation, according to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. To date, about 1,000 Iraqis have resettled in Maryland.
Maryland’s number of Iraqis is still a drop in the bucket compared to the top 6 states that resettle Iraqis. California gets almost 20% with Michigan second with approximately 13-15%. We have previously written about problems of the system being overwhelmed by Iraqis in both California and Michigan. The others in the top 6 states resettling Iraqis are Texas, Illinois, Arizona and Virginia.
Maryland’s funding from the feds has more than tripled in recent years according to the Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees.
In fiscal 2007, Maryland received about $2.5 million in cash and medical assistance funds from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In fiscal 2008, the funds doubled to $5.3 million.
Most of MORA’s fiscal 2011 $8.1 million budget will be spent on refugee services and cash assistance.
Incidentally we haven’t heard of any Iraqis wanting to go back to the Middle East from Maryland as we did in Virginia last year, here.