Asheville, NC still under consideration for new refugee site
Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 23, 2016
At least that is what the International Rescue Committee told a local newspaper this week.
By the way, as an update, Hudson, Wisconsin has dodged a bullet for now and will not be getting the Syrian families; plans for which caused a huge public outcry and the Congressman representing the district got involved.
See my post yesterday with update. Did the Republican Congressman help push the decision in that direction? (Be sure to read the update and open links, see the medical problems with that group of Syrians.)
The news from Asheville tells us that the member of Congress for the district where the city is located (Rep. Mark Meadows) opposes the resettlement site. Could that be the holdup?
Note that another Republican, West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney apparently is welcoming the plan for his district and it has been approved. It is too early to draw conclusions, but it sure looks like some consideration is given to whether the member of Congress representing the district is willing to stand against it. [Hint! Montana!]
From the Citizen-Times:
A visit from the International Rescue Committee in June sparked a debate in Western North Carolina as the global aid and humanitarian organization announced it was exploring the possibility of making Buncombe County a resettlement site for refugees.
Representatives from the International Rescue Committee met with residents at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation to discuss the feasibility of relocating about 150 people fleeing persecution in their home countries to the Asheville region.
At the time, J.D. McCrary, executive director of the IRC office in Atlanta, said that if plans move forward, the first household could come as early as next spring. Others would arrive over the ensuing 12 months, he said.
The organization has remained tight-lipped since their first visit to town.
“There are still no new updates,” IRC spokesman Sean Piazza said in December. “We are still considering Asheville as a potential site that would welcome refugees and give them a chance to rebuild their lives.”
The majority of refugees now being resettled domestically are Congolese, Bhutanese, Burmese, Afghan and Iraqi, although there are likely to be more Syrians in the near future, McCrary said in June.***
That month a spokesman for Meadows said the congressman opposed the IRC’s plans and is working with the group and the State Department on the issue.
If you live in Asheville, you need to stay on top of this and on top of Rep. Meadows!
So which ethnic groups have been placed in North Carolina?
***I was interested in the list McCrary gave and especially because he didn’t mention the Somalis! Does NC not get Somalis?
So, I checked Wraps.org and had a look at FY2016 and FY2017. Fiscal years run from Oct. 1 of the previous year to Sept. 30th of the following year. So, for new readers, FY 2017 began on Oct. 1, 2016 (we are over 2 and 1/2 months in to it).
I did see that Asheville got 21 refugees from Moldova recently. I don’t know what that is about.
In that timeframe, one year and 2 and 1/2 months, NC took in 4,101 refugees. NC has often been in the top ten states for refugee resettlement in the years I have been writing RRW.
Here are the top nationalities that have been placed in NC since October 1, 2015 (FY 2016).
DR Congo (1,201)
Below are new sites we have identified so far of the supposed 47 the Obama Administration is (or has been) trying to get established.
One of the first things the Trump Administration must do is to make all of this information public information. Here are some of the sites we have identified so far:
Asheville, NC (not decided yet)
Rutland, VT (approved, waiting)
Reno, NV (open)
Missoula, MT (open)
Aberdeen, SD (not now)
Charleston, WV (approved)
Bloomington, IN (dead for now)
Traverse City, MI
Hudson, WI (dead for now?)
Watertown, NY (maybe)
Youngstown, OH (maybe)
Storm Lake, Iowa
I would like to get more updates from you, let me know if you have anything more on these sites.
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