Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Right Way to Accept Refugees, in my Opinion

According to the Hartford Institute, there are approximately 350,000 religious congregations in the United States. What if, say 10% of these -- that would be 35,000 -- each sponsored one refugee family?

Suppose it would work like this. Each religious institution and its congregation would be responsible for adopting one family. They would find that family a place to live in their community. Church donations would help with the first month's rent and the security. They would help the parents write resumes and find jobs, show them how to get around the neighborhood, teach them English, help them enroll the children in school, show them where the grocery store is, teach them about American culture, give them names and phone numbers of doctors, and basically be there for them every step of the way for a year or more.

If just 10% of all the congregations in the whole United States did this, that would be 35,000 refugees. These people would become easily and well integrated into society without the need for state or federal funding.

They would be spread out in communities all across America rather than in one community or one state. They would not live off of American taxpayer dollars and at the rate of, say, two per neighborhood or even one family per town/city, they wouldn't be taking jobs away from existing Americans.

Does this kind of plan make sense to anyone other me? It's sort of like the expression "it takes a village". Well maybe it really does take a village.

Some people get really upset when there is talk about tens of thousands of refugees being taken in by the United States. I get it. I understand their concerns. But if we did it in a way where we didn't just throw open the doors and said here you go! Knock yourself out! And leave them to their own devices with no help and no support -- if we integrated them into society one family at a time, and gave each individual family the help they needed through volunteers, wouldn't we all -- not just the refugees, but everyone -- be in a better place?

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