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Two Local Resettlement Agencies Address Biden's Proposed Asylum Ban

The Biden Administration’s proposed rule would ban people from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they do not apply for asylum in another country first or do not make an appointment with a Customs and Border office through a mobile application. Read more

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Recent News and Blog Stories

Worcester stands ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees; but US has yet to classify Ukraine as refugee nation

By Kiernan Dunlop at MassLive - March 2, 2022

Worcester’s support for Ukraine was evident Tuesday as its anthem played at a city council meeting while its yellow and blue flag waved outside, but the city is limited in the support it can offer Ukrainians fleeing war. Read more

Rebuilding a life: The first months of resettling Afghan refugees in New Hampshire

Concord Monitor- By AMANDA GOKEE - February 22, 2022

When Safiya Wazir arrived in New Hampshire 15 years ago, she was fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although her circumstances were different than those of the new Afghan evacuees now resettling in the state, there are some similarities in their experiences. Wazir knows the trauma of war, the difficult task of adjusting to a new language and culture, and what it’s like to rebuild a life from scratch.

She now serves as a state representative and works with the new Afghan arrivals through her job at Ascentria, one of the state’s resettlement agencies. One of her goals is to help people understand what new refugees are facing as they start over in New Hampshire.

Read more

Our Turn: Welcoming Communities

Concord Monitor - Crissie Ferrara and Henry Harris - January 20, 2022

In the middle of the worst pandemic in a century, communities around the country are welcoming at least 70,000 Afghans to the United States. Our organizations, Ascentria Care Alliance and the International Institute of New England (IINE), expect to resettle more than 200 Afghans in the Granite State by the middle of February, nearly three times as many refugees as New Hampshire welcomed in all of last year.

The experiences of Afghan evacuees are a sobering reminder of the trauma refugees face when fleeing their home countries. In their evacuations, Afghans in our services left everything behind — homes, personal possessions, friends and family. They worry about loved ones living in a nation that is quickly becoming the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis.

Read more

Afghan refugee family's new home in Portsmouth prepared with love by volunteers

Seacoast online: Ian Lenahan, Portsmouth Herald - January 17, 2022

PORTSMOUTH — Two fuzzy stuffed animals — a monkey with a red cap and a dog — sit nuzzled together in a box inside the two-story rectory beside Christ Episcopal Church.

The toys, among a host of other donated goods and household needs, are awaiting the arrival of their new owners — a family of six Afghan refugees resettling in Portsmouth this month. 

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Upper Valley communities prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

by Soleil Gaylord: The Dartmouth - January 14, 2022

Four months after the U.S. officially concluded its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 50,000 refugees have been evacuated from the country and resettled in communities across the U.S., including the Upper Valley. Local community members have been providing support to help Afghan refugees settle down and welcoming them to their new homes. Read more

Afghan resettlement groups say housing is limiting their capacity

By SARAH GIBSON New Hampshire Public Radio - January 11, 2022

New Hampshire’s housing shortage has slowed the process of resettling Afghan evacuees, according to two local organizations. Of the 150 Afghan evacuees who have arrived to New Hampshire since November, about half of them remain in hotels. Read more

Refugee Agencies in MA Praise House Supplemental Budget that Includes $12 million in Aid for Hundreds Fleeing Afghanistan

Ascentria Care Alliance and International Institute of New England - October 25, 2021

Worcester, MA: Mass. Refugee Resettlement Agencies, the nonprofits tasked by the federal government with welcoming and resettling hundreds of Afghan immigrants, praised the inclusion of $12 million in the $3.65 billion House spending bill that draws from last year’s state budget surplus and over half of the American Rescue Plan funds. We are hopeful that the Senate will be equally supportive of this funding as the budget process moves forward. Read more

Ascentria Care Alliance Receives Funding from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

Ascentria Care Alliance - October 1, 2021

In 2019, The Heath Foundation of Central Massachusetts (THFCM) awarded Ascentria Cara Alliance (ACA) an $81,600 Activation Grant for ACA’s Immigration Legal Assistance Program (ILAP).  The funding allowed ILAP to expand its low cost legal assistance for immigrants and refugees by offering full legal representation to low income clients who could afford to pay reduced legal fees.  The demand for those services has exceeded the capacity of current ILAP staff that was funded by THFCM, so ACA has decided to build upon their start-up funding, and to add two full time attorneys and four paralegals to meet the increased demand. Read more

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