The Missouri House Budget Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday to discuss several issues surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis, including U.S. refugee resettlement funding, public safety and screening processes.
But the real reason for the hearing was immediately clear: to discuss the fears of lawmakers and their constituents about the potential threat the refugees pose. There is no denying that this fear is felt by many Americans. But President and CEO Anna Crosslin of the International Institute in St. Louis, who has worked with refugee resettlement programs since 1978, says this fear is being heightened by media coverage, and that we need to come to a better understanding of how the refugee resettlement process actually works.
“The problem is we are inundated with photos and footage of people on rafts, and we assume that is the crowd out of which the refugee program in the U.S. will be selecting people,” Crosslin said. “That is an erroneous assumption.”
Crosslin went on to explain how the resettlement process works, and how it is funded. You can read more coverage of the hearing here, and can look forward to a more in-depth article in an upcoming edition of Messenger Online and Good News.