The US State Department has sent a notice to Episcopal Migration Ministries that an office approved for Charleston, WV in the waning days of the Obama Administration will not be opening after all.
Here is the news from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, a first sign that refugee numbers will continue to be low in the coming year, but maybe the whole program will be suspended (wishful thinking)!
Before I get to that good news, see my previous post.
America has its own refugees—‘Harvey’ refugees—so tell the President to suspend the entire UN/US Refugee Admissions Program for FY18.
He is required to make his decision in the coming weeks and send it to Congress before October first!
The U.S. State Department of State won’t move forward with resettling refugees this year through a Charleston-based affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries, according to organizers who had been working to bring more refugees to West Virginia.
Members of the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry had been working to bring more refugees — those fleeing violence or persecution in their native countries — to West Virginia, by establishing a Charleston-based affiliate of a national resettlement agency. Lynn Clarke, a leader with the group, said last month that they planned to open an affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries in Charleston on Aug. 1, and that they anticipated 85 refugees would arrive between October 2017 and September 2018.
The Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries, and Antigona Mehani, who was hired to direct the office, both later said too much was unknown to anticipate how many refugees could arrive and when.
On Wednesday, Rabbi Victor Urecki, leader of Charleston’s B’nai Jacob Synagogue and a member of the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry, provided a statement from Episcopal Migration Ministries and the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry. [Urecki has been a leading advocate involved with the local ‘Interfaith’ effort to bring Syrian refugees to Charleston.—ed]
The statement from Episcopal Migration Ministries said that on Monday, Episcopal Migration Ministries “learned that the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration will not move forward with resettling refugees in several sites in the coming year,” including Charleston.
So, other sites won’t get refugees in the coming year—where are they?
By the way, two things made this Charleston site different in my view. First, those pushing the resettlement were pushing for Syrians from the outset, not any refugees from anywhere which is the normal case, but Syrians specifically.
And, secondly, that cash-strapped EMM had closed other established offices in other states, yet was hoping to open this one. Why?
I have a substantial archive on Charleston, click here, because citizens there were actively engaged against the idea of bringing more poverty to West Virginia.
See especially this post from last month.
LOL! Did any of you call Rep. Mooney’s office and ask him to get you the FY18 R & P Abstract for EMM in Charleston? Did he get it for you?
It is not too late. You will find the Abstract very informative (if they give you all the pages) because it will describe all the amenities Charleston has to offer its new third world refugees—jobs, housing, medical care, etc.