Ascentria's Struggle to Continue Refugee Resettlement

April 14, 2017
The Provider
By Angela Bovill
 
"Last year I explained in these pages that Ascentria Care Alliance had created “a new model of holistic care – wrapping services around the people we serve.” We’ve continued to make progress with that synergistic strategy, helping break the cycle of poverty for many people.

But it is with real heartache that I now report on our struggle regarding refugee resettlement.

As you know, the Trump administration has issued Executive Orders to severely restrict refugee resettlement in the United States. The latest order would effectively ban travel by individuals from six majority-Muslim nations: Syria, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. As a nonprofit that does a lot of refugee resettlement work, we publicly opposed both executive orders. And in speaking out, I tried to make the case in personal, practical and historical terms: “We aren’t afraid of those who have fled their wartorn homelands, seeking safety and freedom. We welcome new neighbors and embrace them. Refugees are part of what makes America great. We are better off as a country because of their hard work and contributions to our communities and economy. Refugees are customers, employees and entrepreneurs who pay taxes. And, as grateful neighbors, they help others in many acts of kindness.

Under the latest order, exemptions are permitted for special immigrant visa holders and lawful permanent residents. But there will be a major reduction in refugees allowed into the US – dropping from 110,000 to 50,000. And with more than 37,000 refugees having already arrived, a very small number of those who have completed the extensive vetting process will have the opportunity to come to the U.S. before the cap is reached."

- Op-ed written by Angela Bovill, president and CEO of Ascentria Care Alliance, in the April issue of the Provider, a newsletter by The Providers' Council. Read the full op-ed here.