Refugee Advocates In The Triad Consider The Future Under Trump Administration
As wars continue to rage across Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, organizations like World Relief High Point are working overtime to integrate newcomers here. It’s a faith-based nonprofit that partners with volunteers and local churches to help refugees become self-sufficient.
Prior to welcoming new arrivals, WRHP workers establish housing, and collect donations of furniture and household goods. They then guide refugees through the labyrinth of governmental agencies that provide basic social services, and eventually help them to find employment.
Office Director Jennifer Foy says support in the community continues to grow, but she says the new political climate is taking a toll on the refugees themselves.
"They see the divisiveness that’s happened with this election, and in those countries that they’re coming from many times that leads to war," she says. "And so many times they’re asking us, ‘What does this mean? Are we safe here? Are we going to be sent away?’ and it’s us reminding them, 'No, you’re safe,' and helping them understand."
Foy says refugees are also concerned about whether or not their family members back home will be able to join them in the U.S. now. She says they won't know what to expect until the new administration is fully in place.
"I think the biggest thing is the unknown. We don't really know what is going to come. There's a lot of speculation on both sides," says Foy. "World Relief is going to continue to do the work we do regardless. We're going to continue to advocate for care and resettlement of refugees."