A global refugee resettlement organization – who receives federal funds for every refugee they resettle into the U.S. – has their eye on a new resettlement site, and are trying to convince the residents of Ashville, North Carolina that it would be good for their community.
The Ashville Citizen Times reported that J.D. McCrary, from the International Rescue Committee, spoke with over 50 residents at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Wednesday to share their plans of relocating about 150 refugees into their community.
If all goes well, the first family could arrive by next spring, and others would arrive over the next 12 months, he told them.
“We’re very interested in hearing what you have to say and the questions that you have,” McCrary said. “That’s our real reason for being here, exploring if the community is good for refugees. Are refugees good for the community? If both of those don’t line up, then we would probably continue looking for new sites elsewhere. It has to be a community that is welcoming.”
He told them the majority of refugees are Congolese, Bhutanese, Burmese, Afgani and Iraqi – although there are likely to be more Syrians in the near future. “Any resettlement in Asheville would likely follow national trends.”
McCrary told the residents that his organization will decide within the next month if their town is a good resettlement site, and will submit a proposal to the State Department. Affordable housing might be the biggest hurdle, he said, but jobs will be available for them, as new hotels are coming into the area and they will need workers.
If objections were voiced, the news media didn’t report it.
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