Stephen speaks with Sean de Four, Lutheran Social Services Vice President, Children and Family Services overseeing refugee resettlement. Lutheran Social Services is the largest re-settler of refugees in Michigan. Also in studio is Radwan Abduljalil Mughrbel, a Syrian refugee who arrived to the U.S. with his wife and two sons on July 6, 2015 and Anne Pio, Refugee Specialist, Refugee Services, Lutheran Social Services.
Several key points:
- The family fled Syria due to political and humanitarian dangers. As a consequence of the civil war and the rise of ISIS , the family fled their country to Jordan with the hope of finding a place of peace and safety.
- When Radwan & his family arrived here, their living conditions totally changed.
- LSSM/ Resettlement program assisted the family in locating housing, becoming acclimated to the community, facilitating health screenings, pursuit of employment, cultural adjustment, and English language programs.
- Radwan’s sons (Ahmed & Soubei) are working full time jobs as general labor workers.
- The family has already reached their goal of self-sufficiency.
Lutheran Social Services Information About Refugee Resettlement:
- Currently, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the national organization overseeing organizations like LSSM in refugee resettlement, is working with the State Department to designate Michigan as one of the top 3 destinations in America for Syrian refugees. Their current working goal is to bring 5,000-10,000 Syrian refugees here within the next two years.
- Number of refugees resettled by LSSM in Michigan: 1,837 individuals in 2014. Refugee resettlement efforts include whole families as well as unaccompanied refugee minors (refugee foster care).
- From 2011-2014, fewer than 200 Syrian refugees were resettled in the United States. In the first 11 months of fiscal 2015, more than 1,200 Syrians were resettled in the U.S.
- More than half of the entire population of Syria has been displaced from their homes - by bombardment, civil war, and the growing threat of ISIS. There are more than 4.08 million Syrian refugees registered in countries neighboring Syria.
- More than two-thirds of today’s Syrian refugees are women and children.
- Refugees are not allowed to work legally where they seek asylum, meaning they may have no economic support for their families.